Fresh fennel substitution

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Traveler

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I have recipe for a sausage / fennel / ragu that I'm dying to try. Problem: none of the markets near me sell fresh fennel (bulb type). Any suggestions that I might use in place of fresh fennel ?
Thank you
 

tenspeed

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Depending on the store I go to, sometimes it's labeled as anise. I know, I know, fennel and anise are different plants, but that doesn't stop the produce markets from mislabeling it. One produce market I go to receives it in boxes with both names on it.

Is this the recipe you will be trying?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK8GJXUnTwc

I made it a few days ago with fresh pasta. Mrs. T immediately said to put this on the "do again" list.
 

Traveler

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Fresh Fennel Substitution

Ha ha, Yes, indeed, that is the exact recipe I want to make. Tenspeed, how on earth did you read my mind ?
 
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tenspeed

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Ha ha, Yes, indeed, that is the exact recipe I want to make. Tenspeed, how on earth did you read my mind ?
Lucky guess. As I mentioned, I made it with fresh pasta, and I am a huge fan of fresh pasta. I have a Philips automatic pasta machine, which makes fresh pasta with minimal effort. We have to go to a pretty expensive restaurant to get fresh pasta, so it pays for itself rather quickly.

By the way, I bought my first bottle of Amontillado the other day, for use in cooking. I haven't opened it yet, but I'll see if I can tell the difference between Amontillado and sherry. :)
 

Traveler

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Lucky guess. As I mentioned, I made it with fresh pasta, and I am a huge fan of fresh pasta. I have a Philips automatic pasta machine, which makes fresh pasta with minimal effort. We have to go to a pretty expensive restaurant to get fresh pasta, so it pays for itself rather quickly.

By the way, I bought my first bottle of Amontillado the other day, for use in cooking. I haven't opened it yet, but I'll see if I can tell the difference between Amontillado and sherry. :)

I wish you a happy experience with the Amontillado sherry. P.S. Amontillado is a variety of sherry from the Montilla region. It is darker than a fino, and lighter than a oloroso. Amontillado is also more heavily fortified than other types of sherry --- up to 17.5% alcohol.
 

Traveler

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I've never used fennel. Is it true that it tastes like liquorice? Can't stand liquorice so I've been afraid to try it.

Fresh fennel and fresh anise are sometimes mislabeled in the grocers. Fresh fennel also tastes a bit like anise seed. Give it a try. What do you have to lose ?
 
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medtran49

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I've never used fennel. Is it true that it tastes like liquorice? Can't stand liquorice so I've been afraid to try it.

K, I don't like licorice or anise, nor am I really fond of fresh fennel, though I will eat it. However, cooked fennel is delish. The first time I tried it was in Ina's potato and fennel gratin and I loved it. We use fennel fairly regularly now. In fact, just had some the other night with Italian sausage.
 

Rocklobster

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I find the use of fennel to be a nice addition to certain sauces..it can over power a dish, so use it very sparingly..I never put enough in for the flavor to come through too much but it's nice to bite into a seed once or twice while eating..it adds another dimension to the dish..goes well with pizza sauce, or tomato sauce, Italian style roast pork...
 

GotGarlic

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Kay, I don't like licorice, either, but that's like eating the pure flavor. Fennel the vegetable has a much lighter flavor. It's like what Bobby Flay says about cilantro: it's not great on its own - it needs friends, like onions, garlic and tomatoes or tomatillos. Fennel seed is even less like licorice - it just barely reminds you of it, but it's different.
 
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Mad Cook

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You could use fennel seed for the flavor and celery for the fresh veggie crunch.
I was just about to say that!

What you could do if you don't want the seeds in the dish you could soak them in boiling water (or stock), strain the seeds out and discard them and use the "tea" in the dish as part of the stock content specified in the recipe
 

Kayelle

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Thanks for the advice about the flavor of fennel. Now I'm willing to try it hearing from folks who also don't like liquorice.

That potato dish from Ina sounds like a good test for it Med. If all that Gruyere cheese is involved it can't be wrong. ;):yum:
 

medtran49

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Thanks for the advice about the flavor of fennel. Now I'm willing to try it hearing from folks who also don't like liquorice.

That potato dish from Ina sounds like a good test for it Med. If all that Gruyere cheese is involved it can't be wrong. ;):yum:


Exactly why I was willing to try it. Craig loves the anise/licorice flavor and had been pushing to try it.
 

buckytom

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I make a shaved fennel bulb, shaved Vidalia, balsamic vinegar, and fresh thyme stuffed baked trout that tastes nothing of licorice.

I think I posted it here once. Gotta go see.
 
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