Monday, March 31, 2008

Cod in creamy fennel ragout

(4 servings)

4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 fennel bulbs (sometimes called anise; 2 lb), stalks discarded and bulbs cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped drained sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 (7-oz) pieces cod (about 1 inch thick, cut into cubes)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Garnish: chopped flat leaf parsley

Cook bacon in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.
Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate and let it drain on a piece of kitchen paper.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to fat in skillet. Add fennel. Cook with salt and pepper over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add broth, cream, tomatoes, and garlic to fennel and cook, partially covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until fennel is tender and cream is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Ten minutes before the ragout is done, add fish and let it cook in the ragout.

Stir mustard and half of the bacon into fennel ragout and season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with chopped parsley and the remaining bacon.

I serve this dish with pasta.

(Adapted from Gourmet, December 2003)

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