This is a killer recipe…whole fish, twigs, European liquor that Americans tend to ignore and setting things on fire! Loup Flambe au Fenouil
I have only attempted to flambe something on one other occasion, and so was expecting a similar fiery inferno…especially because this one had tinder! I didn’t really have the “dried wild fennel twigs” that Ms. Willam calls for so those are just regular fennel stalks that I dried. The directions said to warm the Pernod, and well, I warmed the alcohol right out of it! Then I wasn’t having much luck getting it to light, so Rob tried it and finally I just poured some alcohol fresh from the bottle, not warmed, and he got it lit. Yay! The fennel stalks burned a little…but it was pretty tame so I’m not sure if we got the full flambe flavor.
I do love cooking whole fish (this is grilled bass) and I love fennel and anise flavors so it was quite delicious. While I had the grill going I also grilled some eggplant, zucchini and fennel bulb to go along with the fish. It all felt a little like a summer meal in Provence, even in these sunny but frigid late winter days. Full disclosure. I have never been to Provence.
On a side note. Never go to the grocery store hungry, and especially not the grocery store next-door to possibly the best banh mi place in Chicago. Double especially when you know you must go home and eat leftover pesto pasta with potatoes and green beans. Because even though this pasta is very delicious, it won’t seem quite as good today because you were dreaming about banh mi. Just saying.