Although fennel is one of the most common vegetables in the Mediterranean cuisine, I discovered its crunchiness and sweetness only recently (many years back when I first tried fennel, I cataloged it as bitter and just not my thing). And you will love it too if you try my new creation.
I don’t recall if I’ve already told you that a year ago I decided to expand my recipes repertoire with a new creation every time I get a chance to cook. However, it mostly happens over the weekend when my boyfriend and I have more time to spend in the kitchen.
So last Saturday we did it again. We went first to the local farmer’s market to buy some fresh organic foods. We didn’t get there too early in the morning (too lazy to get up), so many vegetables were already sold out, to my surprise. And guess what?! Fennel was at its peak that day! Oh noooo :( “But I hate fennel” – I heard myself saying it loud.
Saying that in an organic farmer’s market?! Oh gosh, it’s the worse thing could happen to them.
For a second I imagined how I could simply woke away and never come back … of course, it was only a dream. The reality is that I bought fennel to have for the rest of the year.
Later that day, the moment we opened up a bottle of cold beer and put some jazz on, the fennel story was already history. Another thing we bought that day was a huge packet of raw unsalted peanuts. They are a great and healthy snack to much on them along a beer, right?! :)
This is how we decided to mix cauliflower, chicken, peanuts and the rest of the beer into one plate …. Oh, and fennel, how could I forget about the shinny star of the dish?! We steamed the cauliflower and fennel for a few minutes and then tossed them in with the chicken & peanuts.
What excites me about this recipe is that both cauliflower and fennel absorb the sauce superbly. We all know that cauliflower is a giver and receiver of flavor, but it surprised me how the fennel softened with the sauce. I am sooo over with “I hate fennel” – no longer bitter.
By adding a little bit of peanut butter at the beginning and mix it well with the oil before adding the chicken you will kick the nuttiness up a notch. Deliciousness guaranteed!
1. it’s an excellent source of vitamin C so needed for the proper function of our immune system.
2. it’s also a great source of fiber and may help you to reduce cholesterol levels.
3. it’s a very good source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower blood pressure (another risk factor for stroke and heart attack).
I won’t promise you only 15 minutes because it takes some time to enjoy the beer and get mentally ready that you are going to eat that fennel, but I may change your mind, too.
Oh, I let you with this aromatic anise flavor of fennel …
- 1 medium head of raw cauliflower
- 600 g of breast chicken, cut in small cubes
- 1 fennel, sliced it
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and
- fresh ginger, thinly chopped
- a handful of raw unsalted roasted peanuts, unshelled
- a handful of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of curry
- 1 pinch of marjoram
- 1 pinch of oregano
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- First off, cut the chicken in small cubes and start spicing them up with curry, marjoram, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Drizzle soy sauce over it and set it aside to marinate until the rest of the ingredients are ready to go, about 10 minutes.
- While my boyfriend took care of the chicken (he likes to take care of the marinating part on his own), I unshelled the peanuts and kept drinking the beer. :)
- Bring ¾ to 1 inch of water to a boil in a medium saucepan and put an Asian bamboo steamer on top.
- Wash the cauliflower and fennel very well and start by slicing the fennel. Take the hefty bulb of fennel and trim it down into bite-sized pieces. Then chop the cauliflower coarsely. Place the florets from cauliflower and the bite-sized fennel in the steamer, cover and let them steam together for 5 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil and 1 tbsp of peanut butter in a second saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the get a bit browned, about 2 mins. Then reduce the heat to a lower level and add the chicken, garlic, ginger and peanuts and drizzle some beer over it.
- Let them simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes. Then add the florets, season carefully with sea salt and pepper, drizzle a little soy sauce and let them simmer together for 10 minutes. Serve it on the plate and sprinkle some fresh parsley over it. Et Voilà!
MAKE IT PEANUT FREE: Skip the peanuts and use almonds flakes instead. It's absolutely divine!
Get creative, use the ingredients you have on hand and stay healthy! Make sure you only "cook it fit".
Get creative and stay healthy!