Tag Archives: Fennel

Sausage, Fennel & Mascarpone Pizza

Sausage, Fennel and Mascarpone Pizza
Sausage, Fennel and Mascarpone Pizza
A Tasty Slice
A Tasty Slice

I know this one sounds weird, I know. It isn’t though, it’s the nicest pizza I’ve had in ages! Fennel and pork always go well together anyway, and the mascarpone cheese adds a nice creamy sauciness if you, like me, don’t always want your pizza drowned in tomato sauce. Last Sunday, instead of the usual Sunday Roast, I had this bad boy and it really hit the spot. It was the perfect indulgence for an evening on the couch watching TV. I’m in the midst of a bit of a pizza fad at the moment, so I’m experimenting a lot.

To make this pizza work well, you need to buy the best quality sausages possible, as cheap supermarket sausages won’t cut the mustard here. I bought some Wild Boar sausages in my local butchers, Lawlors, and they worked a treat. They cost €5.40 for 500g, but I only needed half the pack (so €2.70). I had some pizza dough from Iago’s in the English Market which only cost €1.80 which I think is really good value and I made two pizzas out of the one ball of dough on two consecutive nights, (so really 90c per pizza base). I also used some leftover mascarpone cheese, some fennel (70c) and some dried herbs from my cupboard. It worked out cheaper than a shop bought pizza, it certainly was much cheaper than ordering a pizza takeaway on-line (about half the price), yet I can assure you it tasted much better, supported local food producers, and was much better for my health than either a processed supermarket or a take-away pizza. It’s an interesting thought as most people automatically assume supporting local, quality food producers will always end up more expensive, but when you’re crafty with leftovers and store cupboard products, you can be surprised how inexpensive a good quality meal can be! So why not give this one a go the next time you get pizza cravings?

Delicious Flavour Combination
Delicious Flavour Combination

Ingredients:

1 ball of pizza dough or one plain pizza base

1 bulb of fresh fennel finely sliced

2 large gourmet pork sausages (at least 80% meat content)

4 tbsp mascarpone cheese

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

tbsp oil

1. Fry the sliced fennel bulb lightly until soft, be careful not to brown them.

2. In a separate pan fry the sausages gently until cooked through. Then chop them into discs and add to the pan of chopped fennel for a few minutes with the chopped fennel seeds, black pepper and chilli.

3. Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface until it’s nice and thin. Smear a tablespoon of olive oil over the rolled out dough, and layer on the sliced cooked fennel and the sausage and herb mix. Pop it into an oven preheated to 200C for about 10 to 15 minutes (be careful to keep an eye on these, as they can brown very quickly).

4. When it’s just about done, dollop on the mascarpone and pop back into the oven to allow it to melt nicely on top of the pizza.

5. Slice up and enjoy!

Just A Few Ingredients Needed
Just A Few Ingredients Needed
Once Cooked Slice Sausages Into Discs
Once Cooked Slice Sausages Into Discs
Return To The Pan With Fennel Seeds, Garlic, Chilli and Black Pepper
Return To The Pan With Fennel Seeds, Garlic, Chilli and Black Pepper
Top The Pizza Base and Pop in Oven
Top The Pizza Base and Pop in Oven
Add The Mascarpone A Minute Before Taking Out Of The Oven To Serve
Add The Mascarpone A Minute Before Taking Out Of The Oven To Serve
Ready To Serve
Ready To Serve

Smoked Haddock & Fennel Fish Pie

Smoked Haddock and Fennel Fish Pie
Smoked Haddock and Fennel Fish Pie
Eat Me It Cries!
Eat Me It Cries!
Can't Beat Home Made Fish Pie
Can’t Beat Home Made Fish Pie

I made Fish Pie for the first time this weekend and I must admit, I was quite impressed with myself! I had a craving for some comforting, hearty fish pie during the week and so set about making some on Saturday night. I noticed everyone was blogging pictures of green food this weekend and Irish traditional dishes for Paddy’s Day, which I didn’t do at all. But I think this Fish Pie still fits the traditional Irish food bill, so I’m going to pretend that this was my patriotic offering this Paddy’s Weekend.

I wanted to use some fennel and lemon juice in my fish pie for a nice refreshing flavour and so stuck to white fish only, as I felt the flavours would complement each other. I picked up a nice fillet of smoked haddock and also of monkfish and they worked beautifully. No proper fish pie would ever leave out the smoked fish, you need the smokiness to cut through the creamy sauce. I think that simple, comforting meals like this are the best, all you need to do it make sure you get the freshest fish, veg and dairy and you are bound to produce a mouth watering pie!

The sauce was silly it was so easy, I essentially just poured some cream on top of the sautéed vegetables and seasoned it and that was that! I recommend giving this a go. I made two individually portioned fish pies, but if you are making a full  family sized one, just double the quantities listed below.

Ingredients:

4- 5 Large Potatoes (avoid using Rooster Potatoes… they make a poor mash)

Large knob of butter

150-200ml cream

100ml milk

1 fillet monkfish

1 fillet of smoked haddock

1 leek

1 fennel bulb

2 scallions

1 garlic clove

Juice of half a lemon

Zest of a lemon

salt & pepper to season

1. Boil the potatoes for about 20 to 30 minutes depending on size. They’re done when a knife cuts easily through them. Mash the potatoes with a knob of butter, a splash of milk and some salt and pepper. You want your mash soft but firm, add a little more milk if necessary.

2. Finely chop the fennel bulb, make sure to keep the fennel herb at the top of the bulb for use later. Slice up your leek and scallions too (a mandolin makes a nice quick job of this.) Just to note, the fennel takes a little longer to soften so slice finely and perhaps start frying a few minutes before adding the rest of the veg. Sauté all the veg until soft, add the cream to the pan of vegetables and add the lemon juice, half the lemon zest, some salt and pepper and half the fennel herbs. Make sure to taste it at this point and add more lemon or pepper if necessary.

3. Fill your dishes until they are half filled with the creamy vegetables and then mix in the uncooked chopped fish pieces. Cover the fish mix with the mashed potato and put into a preheated oven at 180C for 30 to 40 minutes.

4. Two minutes before taking out put a little knob of butter on top of each fish pie. It melts down the edges but I think a drizzle of melted butter over the top of the mashed potato is so inviting! Take out and garnish with the remaining lemon zest and fennel herbs. Enjoy!

Prepare Your Vegetables
Prepare Your Vegetables
Chop Your Fish Into Chunks
Chop Your Fish Into Chunks
Saute Vegetables Until Soft
Saute Vegetables Until Soft
Add Cream and Season
Add Cream and Season
Stir Fish Into Veggy Mix
Stir Fish Into Veggy Mix
Pop These Babies In The Oven
Pop These Babies In The Oven
Ready To Eat
Ready To Eat
Beautiful Fish Pie
Beautiful Fish Pie
Tuck In!
Tuck In!