February 28, 2011

Baked Fennel, Potato and Tomatoes

Hello, gorgeous

Big thanks to MM who asked the Valentine's Day fairy to deliver the gorgeous Le Creuset braiser in the above photo!

My good friend, Lilly, inspired me to pull some frozen meat out the freezer this weekend, and the 1/2 pound of leftover ground turkey from this dish won! (Good thing to know: if you wrap ground turkey in plastic wrap and stick it in a freezer ziplock bag, it will be totally edible and have no freezer burn after 7 months! Shocked? I was!) I also had fennel, a bag of potatoes and an onion that were just screaming to be used. After a little bit of internet searching, I found this recipe for Baked Sausages, Fennel and Potatoes with Fontina from Food & Wine. I figured with a couple alterations, this could work for me.

The resulting dish was good. I cut the potatoes too big, so they didn't cook all the way through. I didn't have any meltable cheese on hand, so cheese was omitted, but I think it would have elevated the final dish.

Baked Fennel, Potato and Tomatoes
Adapted from Food & Wine
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound 7-month old frozen ground turkey (thawed)
1 onion, cut into thin slices
1 fennel bulb, cored and cut into thin slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small bag of yellow potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dry white wine
28 oz. can whole tomatoes, liquid reserved, tomatoes chopped (or you can empty the contents of the can into a big bowl and smash them with a potato masher (my preferred method of smashing))
1/2 to 3/4 cup orzo
(The original recipe called for 6 ounces of grated fontina cheese to be melted on top of this dish at the end; I didn't have any fontina, but if I did, I certainly would have included it.)

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large oven-safe pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and saute until it is cooked through and white. Remove turkey to a plate.

2. Heat remaining one tablespoon of olive oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, garlic and fennel seeds and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and salt and cook, covered for 5-8 minutes.

3. Stir in the wine and simmer until evaporated. Add the tomatoes, their liquid and about 1/3 can of water (swish the water around in the can to get all the tomato juice). Stir in the turkey and orzo and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. (If using cheese, bake for 10 minutes, then sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for another 10 minutes.)

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