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Crispy Cream-Braised Potatoes and Fennel

Crispy Cream-Braised Potatoes and Fennel

  • potatoes – cut into irregular chunks
  • fennel bulbs – trimmed (with tough/bruised outer layers removed), then cut lengthwise into wedges about 1.5″ wide (leaving core intact)
  • half-and-half or cream (enough to cover the vegetables)
  • salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  1. In a 3 to 4 quart pan, combine potatoes and fennel wedges. Add enough half-and-half to fully cover. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Over medium-high heat, bring the half-and-half to a simmer, then lower heat to just maintain the simmer. Cook until the potatoes and fennel are soft and tender, about 20 minutes. Take off the heat. The potatoes and fennel should be fully cooked at this point.
  2. While potatoes and fennel are braising, preheat broiler to medium-high. 
  3. Remove potatoes and fennel wedges from the half-and-half with a spider or slotted spoon, and transfer them to a gratin or casserole dish. Some of the half-and-half will cling to the vegetables, which is a good thing. Make sure to generously coat the bottom with olive oil to prevent sticking. Taste the potatoes and fennel for seasoning – if you need more salt or pepper, add them now. Toss with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon). Arrange the potatoes and fennel wedges in a single layer to promote even browning. 
  4. Place the casserole dish under the broiler (about 6 inches away from the source of heat). Broil for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the potatoes and fennel are caramelized and crispy around the edges. 

(Recipe adapted and simplified from Food52 – if you enjoy getting more spice happy, look here)

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