Tuesday, March 23, 2010

dinner idea

I've tried a couple new things this past week: couscous and fennel. The verdict?

Fennel gets a big thumbs up, couscous gets a big thumbs down. I kind of thought it would be the other way around, but no.

I will try the couscous again (because I still have the rest of a fairly big container), with a different recipe, but I'm not hopeful. It tasted a really whole lot like fluffy cardboard particles. Even after increasingly desperate attempts to doctor it up a bit. (After it was all over I had ended up adding onion, garlic, chicken broth, chopped fresh spinach and crumbled feta cheese. And it was still boring and essentially tasteless.)

But ta-da! Here's what I did with the fennel:

Red Snapper with Carrot and Fennel
(from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book)
  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen skinless red snapper, grouper, or ocean perch fillets, about 1/2 inch thick. (I used frozen tilapia fillets because that is what I always have on hand)
  • 2 cups sliced fennel bulb (1 large)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
  • 1 cup chopped carrot (2 medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. snipped fresh dill or 1 1/2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • fresh dill sprigs, optional

Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fillets and pat dry. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside. In a large skillet cook fennel, onion, carrot, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 7 to 9 minutes or until vegetables are tender and light brown. Remove from heat. Stir in broth, dill, the 1/4 tsp. salt and the 1/4 tsp. pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup of vegetable mixture; spread remaining vegetable mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Place fish fillets on top of vegetables. Spoon reserved vegetable mixture on top of fish. Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for about 12 minutes or until fish begins to flake with a fork. (I covered the baking dish with foil after baking and let it sit for a few minutes just to make sure it was completely cooked and it turned out perfectly.) Serves 4.

It was different, but good. I haven't ever had fennel before so it was a new taste for me but after it was cooked it was very mild and not at all objectionable. I'll probably use a little less than 1/4 tsp. pepper next time I make this recipe.


  1. This recipe sounds great! I don't think I've ever had fennel. Martin really likes parmesan couscous (I think it's just okay) but we buy it pre-seasoned in a box so I wouldn't know how to make it from scratch.

  2. I was also thinking parmesan with the couscous--also I would put some more veggies in it--like diced carrots, maybe some chopped cabbage.

    I have not been able to find fennel here. I go to Wal-Mart, and maybe that's why. I think I'll check either at the Super Target or the Homeland (that's the former Safeway and Albertson's combined.)