Sunday, October 14, 2012
Around the World in 80 Plates: Italy (cont)
I will honest, these next ones I made back in September for Food Network Cookalong but never got around to posting it. First up is Giada de Laurentiis' take on Fritto Misto and I really wanted to share it with everyone because it was so very delicious and is the recipe that showed me how amazing fennel bulbs could taste.
The recipe is basically vegan just having to replace the mayo with Vegenaise for the dipping sauce. She suggests a few veggies to try but I couldn't get my hands on good fresh green beans so I substituted mushrooms. The fennel was super scrumptious especially the browned caramelized bits. You have to make sure you slice them thinly so they get that way though. My only issue was keeping it all warm and crisp as I was frying it in my small pan on the stove top. This probably would have been a good one to break out the deep fryer. Everyone in the house tried this one out and found something they liked...Mac went for the cauliflower and my mom liked the chickpeas, Ryan and I loved it all!
To balance out the fried goodness I served the Fritto Misto with another Giada recipe, Caramelized Pancetta and Fennel Salad. Again, not terribly hard to veganize...it was just that pancetta that needed to move on out. I decided to make some Smoky Curls from Vegan Diner and tossed them in at the end in their place and as always, they were perfection! The caramelized fennel was sweet and garlicky, a very interesting combination that worked perfectly with the red wine vinaigrette. This one only the grown ups tried but there was a symphony of mmms around the table as we (gracefully) scarfed it down!