FennelAurora Catering's

Roasted Fennel Bulbs with Three Cheeses
Yield - 16 - 20 Servings

Ingredients

8 FENNEL BULBS
1/4 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 TSP WHITE PEPPER
1 CUP DRY WHITE WINE
1/2 CUP SHREDDED ROMANO CHEESE
1/2 CUP SHREDDED PARMESAN CHEESE
1 CUP SHREDDED MOZZARELLA CHEESE
1 TSP CRUSHED RED PEPPER FLAKES

Method
First, cut the stalks about 1 inch from the top of the bulb, reserve the stems and green leafs for other dishes. Then cut the fennel bulbs in half, lengthwise, so that the core of the bulb is exposed. Trim any roots, and wash thoroughly. BUT, do not break up bulb.  You want the core of the bulb intact so as the hold together. 

Use a 20 quart stock pot and boil the bulb halves for about 15 minutes, or until "al dente", do not over cook.  Strain, reserve the liquid for other dishes. Cut the bulbs again in half (from top to bottom, allowing the cores to remain intact so as to hold the bulb together).

Now add seasonings, cheese and roast!Preheat oven to 350F.  Arrange the bulbs in a 2 inch hotel pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with white pepper. Add wine, sprinkle with the cheeses, then top with the red pepper flakes.  Roast for 25 minutes or until the wine has evaporated and the cheese has turned a golden brown.  Serve Immediately.

Alternate Method
1 LB TASSO (Diced into 1/2 inch cubes)
Add the tasso before covering the bulbs with the cheese, do not add the red pepper flakes to alternate method. Bake as above. The tasso will give the dish a distinctive Cajun flavor.

Plate Presentation
Serve in a chaffer directly from the roasted 2 inch hotel pan.  Garnish with some of the remaining sprigs and stems.

Chef's Notes:
I am not a big fan of the fennel/anise (licorice) flavor. But when you boil the bulbs first, this process removes most of the pungent flavor yet allowing the bulb to retain a mild and sweet scent.

Fennel is many times labeled anise in grocery stores. The one I buy mine from, they have to look up the PLU for anise!

 

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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
Copyright 1995 - 2008  Aurora Catering, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: November 21, 2016.