Tuesday, November 3, 2009
fabulous fennel seeds
(image from downtoearthliving.com) I am blessed with an abundance of fennel seeds that grow in my yard, in my neighbourhood, and naturalized in woods in the area. Related to caraway, they are lovely in tea, breads, curries, soups,http://rouxbe.com/recipes/2284-roasted-carrot-and-fennel-soup-with-fennel-seed-oil/text salad dressings, http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/2000s/2006/12/frisee-salad stir fries, sauces, and cookies http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1910,153185-248193,00.html My favourite is a bread recipe from an Italian bakery I worked at once that has fennel (or anise) seeds and black figs: 2 Tbl. yeast 2 cups warm water 2 Tbl. butter 1 Tbl. molasses 2 1/2 cups whole grain flour 2 cups unbleached white flour 1 Tbl. ground fennel or anise seeds 1 tsp. sea salt 1 cup chopped black mission figs. proof the yeast in the warm water, add the salt, butter and molasses, knead in the flours, add the figs. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, then punch down and shape into free-form loaves. If you have a proofing basket for shaping the loaves, lucky you! http://www.sfbi.com/baking_supplies.html Let rise for an hour or so, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until tapping on the bottom of the loaf produces a hollow sound. This bread makes the most wonderful toast, slathered with butter. I am currently tweaking a herbal tea mixture with herbs from my garden - it contains rosemary, spearmint, raspberry leaves, nettles, rose petals, calendula flowers, and fennel seeds. I love to make herbal mix-and-match teas - every pot has a unique blend. For the health benefits of fennel seed tea, read here:http://www.grandmas-wisdom.com/fennel-tea.html Fennel is a standard ingredient in some curries and Garam Masala spice blends: Garam Masala: Ingredients * 2 tablespoons coriander seeds * 1 tablespoon cumin seeds * 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds * 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns * 1 teaspoon fennel seed * 1 teaspoon mustard seed * 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves * 2 dried red chile peppers, seeds discarded * 2 tablespoons ground turmeric Directions 1. Combine the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom seeds, peppercorns, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cloves, and red chile peppers in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. 2. Grind the toasted spices in a clean coffee grinder or spice mill to a fine powder. Spoon in the turmeric, and process to combine. Use immediately, or store in a sealed jar for up to 1 month. You can add them to olives for gifts: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/olives-with-fennel-seeds-and-orange Here is a veggie pepperoni that has fennel seeds as an ingredient that I am planning to make soon! It is from allrecipes.com. Veggeroni Recipe Ingredients * 2 cups wheat gluten * 1/2 cup isolated protein powder * 1 tablespoon agar-agar powder * 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika * 1 teaspoon ground black pepper * 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes * 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper * 1 tablespoon fennel seed * 2 teaspoons garlic powder * 1 envelope dry onion soup mix * 1 envelope dry tomato soup mix * 1 1/2 cups water * 1 tablespoon vegetable oil * 1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring Directions 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). 2. Place gluten, protein powder, agar-agar, paprika, black pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, fennel seed, garlic powder, onion soup mix, and tomato soup mix into a blender. Grind for 2 to 3 minutes into a powder, then pour into a large mixing bowl. 3. Stir water, oil, and liquid smoke flavoring into the powdered mixture until moistened, then knead the dough for 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a 2 to 3 inch log, and wrap tightly with aluminum foil, and place onto a baking sheet. 4. Bake vegeroni in preheated oven for 1 hour. Cool completely before slicing. and these scones look very good!: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Walnut-Golden-Raisin-and-Fennel-Seed-Scones-109368 As fennel self-seeds vigourously, I look forward to giving plants away in the Spring, and collecting lots of seeds for Winter use.