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Fennel Gratin with Walnut-Thyme Breadcrumbs

Fennel Gratin with Walnut-Thyme Breadcrumbs

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A doubly crunchy topping marks a breakthrough moment for creamy roasted fennel.


  • 2 pounds fennel bulbs (about 4 small), thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ cups very coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)

Recipe Preparation

  • Place rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400°. Place fennel, onion, cream, butter, and 1 Tbsp. thyme in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to an 8x8" baking dish; bake until fennel is crisp-tender and cream is reduced by half, 30–35 minutes.

  • While fennel is baking, combine breadcrumbs, walnuts, and oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss until bread is evenly saturated and walnuts are coated. Add Parmesan and remaining 1 Tbsp. thyme and toss again to combine.

  • Scatter breadcrumb mixture evenly over gratin and bake until breadcrumbs and walnuts are deep golden brown and fennel is tender, 12–15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 830 Fat (g) 64 Saturated Fat (g) 26 Cholesterol (mg) 120 Carbohydrates (g) 53 Dietary Fiber (g) 11 Total Sugars (g) 15 Protein (g) 16 Sodium (mg) 530Reviews Section

Rain Chaser: Potato, Leek and Fennel Soup

5 degrees F on Monday, 63 degrees F and torrential rains and flooding on Saturday. What a difference a week can make!

Time for something to chase away the damp dreariness of the day, and soup always makes me happy. One of my most favorite vegetable dishes, usually made during the holidays, is a potato, leek and fennel gratin. I made it this year for Christmas dinner, was going to share it with you and then promptly forgot to take the final photo before we devoured it! I can, however, point you to the recipe here, and trust me it is well worth the effort to make.

And because those flavors were still so fresh in my memory, and I happened to have lots of potatoes on hand, I decided to make the gratin into a soup. Much like a vichyssoise, this soup starts with the potato and leeks as its base, but has a mild anise flavor, a sweetness and richness from the addition of fennel. The three vegetables marry into something quite extraordinary, and a touch of cream adds a velvety and satisfying finish to the soup. I decided the best way to incorporate the parmesan from the gratin was in the form of a crouton floating on top and sprinkled with fennel fronds. Delicious soup, warm or cold.

There’s more rain in the forecast for Monday…maybe it’s time for a Raindog, too!

Not just for a rainy day, it’s great for any day of the year!

Potato, Leek and Fennel Soup
Makes 6-8 portions

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned well and diced (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and sliced thinly, reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons of the fronds (leaves)
2 lbs. white potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used a mix of Yukon and Idaho, but red skinned are nice, too.)
8 cups chicken broth or stock, low or no sodium
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 baguette thinly sliced
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium low heat. Add the leeks and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, fennel, potatoes and 1 teaspoon of the salt, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover and allow the soup to cook until all of the vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.

While the soup cooks, arrange the sliced baguette on a cookie sheet and turn the oven onto broil. Lightly toast one side of the baguettes, watching carefully…do not burn! Remove the baguette slices from the oven, turn them over and sprinkle each one with some of the Parmesan cheese, dividing evenly. Return the pan to the broiler and toast until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Chop the fennel fronds and set aside.

When the vegetables in the soup are tender, remove it from the heat and blend it in the pot until it is very smooth using an immersion stick blender, or you can blend in a traditional blender in batches and return the soup to the pot. It’s hot, so be careful. Put the soup back on the stove on low heat, add the 1 cup of cream, 1 to 1 1/2 (to taste depending on how salty your broth was) additional teaspoons of salt and the black pepper, and stir until smooth. Heat until just heated through. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with a crouton and a sprinkle of fennel fronds. Serve remaining croutons on the side. As stated previously, this soup is good served hot or cold and on rainy days or sunny days.

Leftover Love: Roasted Chicken, Broccoli and Lemon-Thyme Ricotta Calzones

I can see now that “Leftover Love” is a recurring theme, as I’m often inspired by leftovers from one meal—or whatever is left in my pantry—to make something new. Is this true for you as well?

Today’s leftover revamp is a quick and easy way to use up meat and veggies in a fun little package. Yes, it’s the beloved calzone, made even easier by using purchased pizza dough for those extra busy days.

This version is composed of leftover pan-roasted chicken breast and some roasted broccoli crowns from a meal we enjoyed earlier in the week, plus a mixture of lemon, thyme, ricotta and shredded mozzarella. Place the ingredients into your rolled out pizza dough, seal, bake, add some homemade or purchased low-salt marinara sauce as a side and voilà! You’ve got dinner.

Certainly you could use purchased rotisserie chicken if you like, or substitute spinach for broccoli—or use all vegetables for a vegetarian version. In this instance, I was quite pleased with how the lemon, thyme, creamy ricotta and mozzarella mixture gave a wonderful boost of fresh flavor to the simply seasoned chicken (salt, pepper and rosemary) and roasted broccoli. The smell of these baking was tantalizing and they came out of the oven puffed, piping hot and oozing cheesy goodness.

Want to make these into a fun little appetizer? Just divide your dough into 16 -1 oz. portions, dollop a heaping teaspoon of the cheese mixture, one crown of broccoli and a bite of chicken into each rolled out mini calzone circle, seal, bake and use your marinara as a dipping sauce. Delicious, bite-sized party fun!

Got a little more time on your hands for calzone and marinara sauce making? Click on this link to check out my previously posted Kale Calzones with Spicy Homemade Marinara.

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Chicken, Broccoli and Lemon-Thyme Ricotta Calzones
Makes 10 Medium-sized Calzones

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmigiana Reggiano cheese, grated
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper
The meat of one roasted chicken breast, sliced thinly crosswise
2 cups roasted broccoli crowns
1 lb. uncooked pizza dough
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, warmed
olive oil for oiling the pan and brushing the calzones

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with sides in aluminum foil and lightly oil it with olive oil. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmigiana Reggiano, thyme, lemon zest and juice, the mozzarella and the salt and pepper, and mix by hand until well blended and fairly smooth.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and lightly flour your hands and a rolling pin. Divide your pizza dough into 10 equal portions. Roll each piece of dough out to be an approximately 5-6 inch circle. (Do the best you can…pizza dough is stretchy! I usually do these one at a time.) Place 1/10th (about 2 tablespoons) of the ricotta mixture into one half of the circle. Next, layer 2-3 slices of the chicken breast (1/10th of your total slices) over the ricotta, then top with 3-4 broccoli crowns. Carefully pull one side of the circle of dough over to meet the other side, gently stretching it to cover the filling and pinching the two edges together to form a crescent. Press the seam firmly closed around the outer curved edges. Crimp the edges of the dough to seal it, pushing it back onto itself as you would with piecrust dough. Repeat this procedure with each piece of dough and the fillings until you have 10 calzones, placing each calzone carefully onto the oiled baking sheet as you finish them. Lightly brush the tops of the finished calzones with some olive oil applied to your fingers. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes watching carefully, until the calzones are browned on top and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow them to sit for 3 minutes. Serve with warm marinara sauce.

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Walnut and thyme cream fettuccine

This special pasta recipe is typical from Liguria, a really beautiful Italian region located in the North-West of Italy.

The beauty of this region is that it is overlooking the sea to its full extent, although mainly mountainous, so that the landscape is both mountain and sea- a really stunning scenario.
Liguria is also very famous for its cuisine. Among the most popular dishes are focaccia with rosemary and pasta with pesto sauce, as well as many seafood specialties.

The recipe that I propose today has a rich flavor and a creamy and crisp texture. A delicious dish that will satisfy even the most demanding palates.

In addition, the cream to dress this pasta is incredibly simple and fast you can prepare it while you cook the pasta!

In few words: a succulent and spectacular dish, ready just in 20 minutes!

INGREDIENTS for 4-5 servings

6 tbs. olive oil (3 for the cream and 3 for browning the bacon)

8 oz. bacon (chopped in cubes)

Start heating a pot of water to cook the pasta (and a small sauce pan for double boi link the walnut sauce).

After removing the crust of the bread, put it in a food processor and chop into pieces. Then set the chopped bread aside.

Transfer the mix into a sauce pan, add 3 tablespoons of oil and stir to get a smooth cream.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and keep warm in a double boiler.

(If the water for the pasta begins to boil, don’t be afraid to pour the pasta in, because your dressing is almost done).
Now dice the bacon and brown it in a pan with the remaining oil until crispy.


Tips: – If you don’t have fettuccine at home don’t panic, this pasta sauce pairs perfectly with short pastas like Farfalle or Fusilli also!

– My daughters (4 and 2 years old) don’t like this pasta sauce because of the walnuts. I mention that because maybe this is not the most “kid friendly” pasta to prepare!

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do, share it, like it, and support my blog!


Side dishes should be good enough to steal the show. Our collection of side dish recipes is so good that you’ll be reaching past the main dishes to heap on the sides. With inspiration for vegetable sides like <a target="_blank" href="">mashed potatoes</a> and <a target="_blank" href="">roasted mushrooms</a> to <a target="_blank" href="">breads</a>, <a target="_blank" href="">rice</a>, <a target="_blank" href="">easy polenta</a>, and more, look no further for the perfect side dish to complete your meal.

203 Saves

Meatball and french bread casserole recipe

You've most likely heard about deconstructed recipes around the network cooking shows. This can be a verson of deconstructed meat ball sandwiches that is employed by a crowd. It's an easy theory that's simple to throw together, especiallly should you prepare the meatballs and tomato sauce ahead of time. The recipe looks lengthy only since i've incorporated recipes for homemade meatballs along with a quick sauce. However, you can save your time on the busy night by utilizing store-bought. Save the fast sauce recipe for other uses, for example pizza or pasta. It's a lot better than the jarred versions.

  • Meatballs:
  • 1-1/2 pounds hamburger (preferably 80/20 ground chuck)
  • 2 large eggs, gently beaten
  • 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fine-minced sweet onions
  • 1/4 cup fine-grated Mozzarella dairy product (not the shelf-stable stuff)
  • 1/8 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 (6 ounces) can tomato paste (see instructions before opening)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano . crushed between your palms of the hands
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tulsi
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic clove powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt . in order to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • .
  • Quick Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin essential olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced sweet onion
  • 1 large clove garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 (15 ounces) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tulsi
  • .
  • Garlic clove Bread:
  • 1 loaf of artisan Italian bread in the loaves of bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup (about) mayonnaise (See Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic clove powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
  • .
  • Casserole:
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers, optional
  • 1 cup fine-shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup fine-shredded Italian-blend cheese
  • 1/4 cup fine-grated Mozzarella dairy product
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a sizable, shallow baking sheet with non-stick foil.

Result in the Meatballs: Utilizing a large dinner fork, combine hamburger, eggs, bread crumbs, onions, Mozzarella dairy product, parsley, 1 Tablespoon from the tomato paste (reserve all of those other paste for that sauce), oregano, tulsi, garlic clove powder, salt, and pepper until completely mixed. Make up the mixture into meatballs about 1-1/2 " across, about how big one fourth.

Put on prepared pan, not touching one another, and bake 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Put aside. (Yield: About 54 meatballs.)

Result in the Sauce: Convey a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add essential olive oil and minced onions. Prepare until onions start to soften and switch translucent. Add pressed garlic clove and prepare, stirring constantly for 30 additional seconds. Don't let the garlic clove brown. Add remaining tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, oregano, and tulsi. Whisk before the tomato paste is incorporated. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for ten minutes, stirring from time to time. This is a wealthy, thick sauce. Adjust thickness for your preferences with the addition of water, just a little at any given time, before you achieve your preferred consistency. (Yield: About 4 glasses of sauce.)

Result in the Garlic clove Bread: Spread one for reds of every slice of bread with mayonnaise. Sprinkly with garlic clove powder, onion powder, salt, and diced tomato plants.

Assemble the Casserole: Spread the baked meatballs in the heart of a 9- by 13-inch glass casserole dish, departing area surrounding the perimeter for that garlic clove bread.

Top using the tomato sauce.

Arrange the garlic clove bread standing upright on finish round the fringe of the casserole dish.

Sprinkle the casserole evenly using the optional crushed red peppers, mozzarella cheese, Italian-blend cheese, Parmesan, and finished with chopped parsley. Make certain the cheeses and parsley jump on the garlic clove bread well as over the meatballs.

Bake in preheated oven for around twenty minutes or before the garlic clove bread is toasted.

Serve the meatballs partly since the garlic clove bread with extra tomato sauce quietly for dipping. Serve having a side salad to complete your food.

Yield: eight to ten servings

• Pre-made frozen meatballs might be substituted with homemade. Thaw them first. Jarred sauce can also be substituted with the homemade tomato sauce.

• The meatballs and sauce may consist to three days ahead of time and refrigerated until needed. Allow them to arrived at 70 degrees before proceeding using the recipe.

• All mozzarella or all Italian-blend can be utilized rather of mixing the 2.

• If you fail to use mayonnaise, substitute essential olive oil or butter for that garlic clove bread. The mayonnaise provides a surprising tang towards the garlic clove bread with no mayonnaise flavor or texture, so I think you'll will attempt it.

• Any leftover tomato sauce might be refrigerated. Should you let it rest thick, it can make an excellent pizza sauce. Thin it for a pasta sauce.

• I sometimes put pasta underneath the meatballs for an additional-filling meal.

Steak bread crumbs recipe dailymotion

Skirt Steak Marinade:
2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (top quality is most effective)
1 sprig rosemary oil (about 10 inches), reduce pieces
3 cloves garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
1/4 cup extra virgin essential olive oil
1 Tablespoon canola oil (for grilling meat)

Bread Crumbs:
1 pound loaf focaccia, torn into small pieces
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin essential olive oil

3 large shallots, peeled and sliced
3 Tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
two tablespoons capers, drained
1 clove garlic clove, minced
1/2 bunch fresh chives, chopped
1/2 bunch tulsi, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin essential olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat oven: Set to 300F for bread crumbs, and 375F well-done meat.

Trim Steak: Trim any extra fat and silver skin in the steak. Cut each lengthy bit of skirt into about 6oz pieces.

Make Marinade: Combine the balsamic vinegar, rosemary oil, garlic clove, pepper and salt in medium bowl. Adding essential olive oil. Employed in 2 batches by having an instant marinator, put the steaks in to the marinator and pour the marinade within the steaks and switch to coat. (Alternatively, you are able to cover and refrigerate overnight.) Provide 70 degrees before grilling.

Grill the Meat: Take away the steaks in the marinade and pat very dry with sponges. Heat a ridged grill pan over high temperature until hot OR prep your outside grill. Brush the grill along with some canola oil. For medium rare to medium doneness, sear the steaks on all of their 4 sides until golden brown colored, a couple of-3 minutes per side. Useful Tip: For rare meat, prepare steak at a lower price time, for an internal temperature of 125-130ºF for medium rare, 135ºF. For additional well-done meat, transfer seared steaks to some sheet pan and finished in oven for roughly 5 more minutes or before you achieve the preferred doneness. Let steaks rest for 15-twenty minutes before serving, because they is constantly prepare a little because they rest. Resting also prevents &ldquodrying&rdquo out.

Make Bread Crumbs: Lightly coat bread pieces using the essential olive oil. Lay the crumbs out onto a sheet pan and bake before the crumbs would be the colour of strong tea, at 300ºF for around half an hour. (Note: Don&rsquot hurry this task. When the bread is simply too pale, or otherwise dry enough, the pieces can get saturated whenever you pour the dressing in it). Awesome completely. Put the bread toasted in to the bowl of the mixer and pulse just before the bread is reduce about 1/4 inch pieces.

Make Vinaigrette: Inside a medium bowl, mix the shallots using the vinegar and also the fresh lemon juice. Let are a symbol of ten minutes. Transfer shallot mixture towards the bowl of the mixer or blender. Add some lemon zest, capers, garlic clove, chives, tulsi, parsley, essential olive oil and salt. Pulse until dressing is smooth. Divide the vinaigrette, reserving half for garnish. Put aside.

Serve: Convey a steak (sliced from the grain or offered whole) on the serving plate. Before prepared to serve, gradually add some dressing towards the cooled bread crumbs just a little at any given time (you might not need all the dressing.) Convey a heaping spoonful from the breadcrumbs around the steak and garnish with reserved vinaigrette. Serve.

04 February 2016

Review: Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings

It's been many years since I lived in Hawaii, but the islands still have a place in my heart. I know much has changed over the years, but I can usually find moments of recognition when I read novels set in present-day Oahu. Kaui Hart Hemmings's Juniors is no exception, and I found a lot to love in this story about a teenager trying to find her place in the world.

What happens? Lea Lane, part Hawaiian, has spent a lot of time visiting family in Oahu but grew up as a California girl. In the middle of her junior year in high school, her mother, a middling actress, takes a job that relocates them to Hawaii. Although she has a few friends there, Lea is unprepared for the social pressures of going to a prestigious private school and never feels she really fits in. It only gets worse when she and her mother move into the guest house on the grounds of a family friend's estate: the children are among the cool kids and their parents travel in high society. The more Lea gets to know the West family (the friendly landlords), the more confused she becomes about what she wants from herself and from life.

The opening: I loved the opening scene of Juniors, in which Lea is participating in an exercise in truth and self-awareness with her classmates at school. It's a brilliant way to be introduced to Lea and her life before moving to the estate.

Authenticity: Few outsiders see the real Hawaii. You really have to live and work there to get a glimpse of the layer floating beneath the Aloha spirit. I hardly profess to be an expert, but I can attest to the truth that making a home in the islands is a totally different experience from vacationing there. Hemmings is brilliant at revealing what the tourists don't see, including the complex social and cultural ramifications of one's ancestry.

In addition, Hemmings really nails family issues and parent-child relationships (also perfectly depicted in her The Descendents). We see two different situations in Juniors: Lea and her mother were always two against the world until they move to the West estate. Under the influence of their friends, they each make poor decisions, threatening to destroy their closeness irrevocably. The Wests give their children all the freedoms that maintain the family image, but offer them little more than that. Whitney and Will have learned the importance of a good facade, but do their parents see them for who they are?

Finally, few authors can capture the teenage / high school experience as well as Hemmings. Lea is faced with real-life situations, such as figuring out the sincerity of newfound friendships, discovering alcohol, wondering about having sex, coping with not being invited to a party, and wanting to be cool but still wanting to be herself. Lea's emotions, desires, and confusion are immediately recognizable, and you'll understand her inner turmoil, even if your teenage issues were a little different from hers.

Recommendations: Although Kaui Hart Hemmings's Juniors is billed as a young adult novel, it's really a contemporary story for anyone who has a teenager or was a teenager. This is not a story of teenage angst, there is no classic love triangle. Instead it's about a girl whose vision becomes clouded by possibilities and wannabes. We hope the fog lifts so she can find her way back home.

Audiobook: I listened to the unabridged audiobook edition (Listening Library, 8 hr, 55 min) read by Jorjeana Marie. Marie does a fantastic job channeling her inner teenager, hitting the cadences and emotions perfectly. I loved her expressiveness and characterizations and that she made it so easy for me to relate to and root for Lea. Highly recommended.

Published by Penguin Random House / Putnam Books, 2015
ISBN-13: 9780399173608
Source: Review--audio (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

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