Sunday, June 8, 2008


Despite the fact that I adore the taste of anise--in liqueuers, in biscotti, in toroni--I have never cooked with fennel; that is, not until tonight. As some of you may have noticed, I prefer making my risotto in the microwave to standing over a pot for 25 minutes. Since I had never worked with fennel before, I decided to follow the cooking method precisely.

Lobster Risotto with Fennel - 2 servings
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
1/2 small fennel bulb, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
5 roasted garlic cloves
1/2 cup arborio rice
3 tbs cognac
1/2 lb cooked, shelled lobster meat
2 tbs light cream
3 leaves fresh basil, julienned

Bring the water and the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat and keep it at a simmer. Melt the butter in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat and add the fennel and shallot. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted garlic cloves. Add the rice and cook about 2 minutes. Add the cognac and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of the hot broth and cook, stirring, until the broth is almost completely absorbed. Continue to add the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and adding next 1/2 cup only when previous liquid is absorbed. This cooking process should take between 20-25 minutes from the first addition of broth. When all the broth has been absorbed, stir in the lobster meat and the cream and cook, stirring gently, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Serve immediately.

(adapted from Dining for Two, Weight Watchers Publishing Group, 2004)
It was exquisite, though a small portion. Next time, I'll make it in the microwave and add the sauteed fennel with the lobster and cream.

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