The congregation I attend in Little Rock has a Southern Living Christmas dinner every year. What happens is that the women get together, each one having picked a recipe from the current year’s November or December Southern Living magazine (recipes in ads are OK too) and prepares it. Then, we bring it to Terri’s house and eat. And eat. And then eat some more. Seriously, it was all amazing. Even better than other years, and that’s no small feat. And, this time the preacher’s wife, who also happens to be my sweet friend Hilary, didn’t have to rush to the emergency room because her husband was “watching” the children.

Anyway, the recipe I selected was “Crispy Potatoes with Fennel.” As is my custom, I altered the recipe some. After all, how could garlic and butter hurt a savory dish?

Alright, here are the ingredients.

Those ingredients are red potatoes, fennel, garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme. Now, I’d never cooked with fennel before. The internet told me it had a mild licorice flavor. The internet was not wrong.

The first thing I did was wash the potatoes and then fennel. You actually only need the fennel bulb for this. The recipe instructed me to cut off the fronds and save them for another use, but I didn’t have another use, so I threw them away. I’m sorry.

Then, I used my really awesome, wonderful, food processor and its slicing blade to slice the potatoes and the fennel. Separately, and with rinsing both the work bowl and the blade between ingredients.

Sliced Red Potatoes

Sliced Fennel

This next part is where I and the recipe part ways for a bit. I chopped up some garlic.

Chopped Garlic

I tossed that garlic into a pan with a tablespoon of melted butter and a tablespoon of olive oil. And the fennel. I sautéed the fennel and garlic like you would onions and garlic. It smelled delicious. And looked delicious.

Mmm. Sauteed fennel and garlic.

Then, I went back to the recipe. I chopped up the thyme.

Then I added about three tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of a cast iron skillet. I then layered the potatoes and sautéed fennel in the skillet. After that, I sprinkled the top layer with the thyme and salt and pepper as the recipe instructed. Incidentally, if I make this again, I’ll sprinkle all the layers with the herb and spices. I think it would be better. I might even toss them in the oil and spices so that everything got coated.

Just before sliding into the oven.

Then I shoved it into a preheated 475 degree oven. It was covered with foil. You bake it for 35-40 minutes covered and then remove the foil for the last 15. I can attest to its yumminess. Seriously. You should make this. Perhaps you should even make the original recipe as it is written so that I can know what that would be like.

And Friday, I’ll blog about the cupcakes.

I’m sorry that the pictures are crooked. They’re from my phone and seemed to refuse to rotate on WordPress. If anyone knows how to help with that, I’m all ears.


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