Friday 24 April
We had a bulb of fennel to use, but wanted a change from our usual recipes. Came up with something tasty involving salmon on Epicurious, but a close reading showed that the recipe was bass-ackwards.
You don't crush fennel seeds and then toast them, you toast them whole and then crush them. You don't go to the trouble of making a compound butter and then fry things in it, because the compound contents frizzle and blacken before the main ingredient is done. You don't add water to pan-browned salmon, because it overcooks and the skin gets mushy.
So we remade it as needed: toasted whole fennel seeds, then ground; made half the amount of compound butter; sliced the fennel horizontally, to be tender rather than showy but stringy, and fried it and the salmon in regular butter and oil. The salmon browned at medium-high for a much shorter time on each side, uncovered, with no water, until each side was crispy brown and the middle was just done; and we used raki (which we had) instead of Pernod (which we didn't).
Damn good, if by now a completely different recipe.