Friday, February 4, 2011

Bugs' Favorite Vegetable, Fit for Elmer J. Fudd, Millionaire

What's Up Doc?  Carrot Fennel Souffle, of course!

We all remember the Looney Tunes from childhood....Bugs the wisecracking Bunny munching on a carrot and causing havoc for man and beast.   Well, this carrot souffle would be far too rich for Bugs's  blood, but it might please Elmer J. Fudd, Millionaire.  He could serve it in his mansion or his yacht.

A souffle is literally a "breath" in French.  It's a light and airy, sweet or savory, knock-out dish, which leaves guests in awe of your culinary skills.  We've not yet tried this recipe for ourselves, but a serious cookaholic posted this recipe on Facebook, together with a gorgeous photo of her creation, and she personally attested to its deliciousness.  Unlike our earlier posts of veggie with fennel seeds, this recipe focuses on the fennel bulb itself.

Fennel is actually one of the easiest herbs to grow in your back yard.  Once it takes hold it can be invasive so you need to stay on top of the plant.  The flowers of the fennel are a bright golden yellow and if you crush the fresh fronds they release their heavenly aniseed-laden scent. 

Roll on the lazy hazy days of Summer.

Carrot-Fennel Souffle

1 lb carrots - (about 4 med carrots)
1 lb parsnips - (or approx same amount as carrots)
2 med bulbs of fennel, roughly chopped
1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/4 stick unsalted butter
4 eggs, beaten
3 Tbs flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground coriander
1.5 tsp ground cardamom
1.5 tsp good salt

1) Slice carrots parsnips to overall similar sized pieces (I did about 1/4" thick coins). Leave fennel in somewhat larger pieces, so it keeps pace with carrots and parsnips during cooking. Steam all veggies until soft and just cooked through, not to a total wet mush.

2) Remove from pan and mash veggies with butter and salt into a bowl, then mix in eggs and other seasonings. *note, I pulsed an immersion blender into the mixture a few times to get a good blended mix. No need to do a massive purée of it.

Grease soufflé pan and bake til it puffs up beautifully -- 40 mins at 350 degrees.

Savor the moment when you present this to your guests.  Bathe in their admiration!

Th--th--th--th-that's all, folks!

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