Wednesday, February 9, 2011

When the Ideas Come... can potentially be a great day in the kitchen...especially those times when rummaging through the contents of your fridge and proclaiming...'oh yeah!...I have THAT!'  In this case, 'that' being fennel.  I am a big fan of fennel...I know many people aren't.  I love that soft licorice scent, the feel of the bulb in my hand, the tickle of the ferns atop.  I've grated it raw in a salad and roasted in the oven with garlic and pears to be used in a spinach salad.  What to do next?

Further inspection of the contents of my fridge produced portobello mushrooms, onions, and a package of puff pastry squares in the freezer. Turnovers!...not just for apples anymore...and easy peasy....cut, saute, spoon, fold and bake.

I've made them twice so far.  The first batch I made in what I know as a typical turnover shape.  Triangular and huge!  They were a meal in themselves.  Second time around I used the same 5 x 5 inch pastry squares, rolled out a bit, then cut in half.  Like a big ravioli and more of an appetizer size (they went to the Girls' Night Potluck). I'm thinking they could even be made smaller...perhaps when I have that cocktail party that I'm perpetually planning in my head I'll make them.

Fennel-Portobello Turnovers

1 medium bulb fennel, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 portobello, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, chopped
Olive oil to toss and a little extra to saute
1/4 cup white wine
4 5 x5 inch puff pastry squares
2 tbsp melted butter (optional)
1 egg, beaten (for sealing pastry)

Chop fennel, mushroom, onion and garlic.  In a bowl, toss with enough olive oil to coat.  Saute over medium heat  until everything has softened and become translucent.  Season with pepper and salt.  Add white wine and simmer down.  Thaw puff pastry sheets and roll thin.  Spoon enough of fennel mix on pastry, brush the edges with the egg, fold over and seal.  I crimped the edges a bit too.  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  If you like, you can brush the tops with melted butter before baking.  I didn't the second time because I made them the night before and was baking them off-site.  They bake quickly, about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Flaky pastry with soft and mellow filling.  Yum!

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