A thoughtful friend and darling lady called me one morning, while she was out running errands, asking to stop by briefly. Of course I was thrilled to see her, and welcomed the interruption to my daily chores. She delivered a gorgeous bottle of Pernod that her and her husband weren’t going to use, and having never tried this anise flavored liqueur, I did a little research and found some delicious recipes.
Although rather spirited when sipped straight, the Pernod blended beautifully with the butter and fennel completing an elegant, incredible, richly flavorful dish.
SALMON WITH FENNEL
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb with fronds, bulb quartered, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, 2 tablespoons fronds chopped, divided
2 salmon fillets
2 tablespoons Pernod
Stir fennel seeds in large skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer seeds to small bowl, cool. Mix in butter, shallots, and 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, season butter mixture with salt and pepper.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter mixture in skillet over medium heat. Add sliced fennel bulb and 1/4 cup water to skillet, cover and cook until fennel is crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover skillet and saute until fennel begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer fennel to a plate.
Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of butter mixture to same skillet and melt over medium heat. Add salmon, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn salmon over, add 1/4 cup water to skillet. Cover and continue cooking until salmon is just opaque in center, about 5 minutes longer. Slide salmon to one side of skillet, return fennel to skillet . Add Pernod and 2 teaspoons butter mixture, stir to heat through.
Divide fennel mixture between 2 plates. Top with salmon, spoon remaining butter mixture over salmon and sprinkle with remaining fennel fronds.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit