Help! i need a replacement for fennel

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buckytom

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being home the last few days gave me a lot of time to watch cooking shows. i saw a dish that giada de laurentis made on everyday italian that i want to try at home, but it has fennel in it and dw doesn't like fennel (what else is new, i have to modify a dish, sheesh). it is a baked whole red snapper that has it's body cavity stuffed with fennel, onion, parsley, and lemon juice, rubbed with olive oil then baked. what else could i use instead of fennel that will be aromatic and still taste good? tia for your help...
 

buckytom

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oh, sorry, i should have mentioned it was the bulb of fennel, roughly chopped like the onions. but thanks sierracook.
 

Lifter

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Celery would be good for texture, but it doesn't really throw a lot of flavour in...

What do you think about a few sprigs of Rosemary along with the celery? Maybe some marjoram and/or basil, as these all go well together, and probably wouldn't "hurt" your recipe...

Remember to cut a few holes in the gut membrane, so the stuff does get into the meat, preferably without cutting ribs, as the fish's "diaphram" is quite efficient at repelling flavours you might wish included...

Do let us know your route through this issue and how it turns out...I'm not much on fennel, either...

Lifter
 

buckytom

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thanks a bunch lifter and sc, i think i'll try the celery. gonna try to make it tonight. actually, lifter you're psychic. the recipe giada de laurentis did had rosemary in it, not parsley as i said before. i think i'll make a few small red snappers, maybe 2 with celery, 2 with fennel. i think since the oven's goin, i'll do some roasted potatoes and butternut squash/sweet potato/honey puree to go with it.
 

kansasgirl

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Hmm. Fennel has such a unique and wonderful flavor.Have you considered celeriac? Similiar a bit to celery, but a much richer flavor. I personally would also consider leeks - they would add a great deal of flavor as well as be marvelous slow roasted inside the fish. Of course you could also just add a few more onions and then maybe a handful of capers. It sounds like a great recipe.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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Celery Root (not to be confused with the root of celery stalks) has a wonderful flavor, and if used in combination with tarragon, should go very well with the fish. There is a bulbous root veggie that I just can't put my finger on that has a light licorice flavor, like fennel, that would go well, what is it". Hmmmm. Sorry. After minutes of pondering, I'm comming up short.

And don't forget that onions go with just about everything.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

kansasgirl

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Are you thinking of anise? It tastes much like fennel. Great with tarragon which also has a 'licorice-like' flavor.
 

buckytom

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nope, not too late. i seem to plan about 4 dinners every day for just the 2 of us, and end up taking out or making something completely different.
haven't gotten around to the fish market to pick up the snappers, but it's on my to do list, eventually, maybe. lol.

my wife says she doesn't like fennel, but that doesn't mean she really dislikes it because she may not have ever had it. but, if she really doesn't like it, and i ignore her and make it anyway, she will make her own dinner and i don't like leftover fish. phew.

soooooo, i think i'll try fennel in 2 smal snappers, and either celery (she's not a big fan of cooked celery either) or leeks, like kansasgirl suggested. i'll post my results, and thanks for everyones suggestions.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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kansasgirl said:
Are you thinking of anise? It tastes much like fennel. Great with tarragon which also has a 'licorice-like' flavor.

Could very well be. I know that the star anise in Chinese 5-spice powder, when used properly, can make the meal. When a bit too much is used, it can ruin it.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

amber

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Im definately too late, but just in case, I was thinking maybe bok choy as a sub for fennel. Same kind of texture, however it doesnt offer much in theway of flavor, but most fish taste really good with the addition of soy sauce.
 

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