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September 18, 2020

Faith, Trust and Fennel Pollen

Faith, Trust and Fennel Pollen

So here we go into the school year and as we watch summer fade away, I don’t know about you, but I’m not as sad as I have been in the past to say farewell to the loosey goosey days of summer. It’s been a crazy year so far and while my kiddos will heartily disagree, I am ready to get back into some kind of routine. Even if that routine is brand new and a little scary. Bring it on!

Our August/September CrateChef box featuring Chef Robbie Felice is shipping now and it is packed full of goodies! The first item in the box that we are going to highlight is this little container of fennel pollen.

Chefs often call fennel pollen “culinary fairy dust,” and rightly so. Our August/September featured Chef Robbie Felice says, “it’s a flavor no one can quite place. Subtle with a floral taste. It’s something everyone loves.”

This powerfully condensed Italian spice is a staple in our latest CrateChef box. Hand-collected from wild fennel, it contains notes of anise, licorice, citrus, and honey. And to those who loathe licorice, fear not! The fresh fennel’s anise factor is delicate, so the spice boosts flavor without overpowering it.

The versatility of fennel pollen is extraordinary. Many Italian cooks sprinkle it on salad, pasta or ragù. Felice recommends using a tablespoon or two as a dry rub for a pork tenderloin or a chop (recipe included in his CrateChef box). I sprinkled a little onto my deviled eggs this weekend and no one could figure out what I had changed, but they all agreed it was an enhancement worth keeping. Why stop at savory though? Try it on ice cream, a parfait, or even a compote.

As if flavor weren’t enough, fennel pollen has a number of health benefits. The fennel bulb contains a high amount of Vitamin C which supports the immune system. Rich in fiber, it reduces cholesterol. And when steeped in tea, it emerges as carminative, especially after a spicy meal.

A little goes a long way with this mighty spice. Let us know how it inspires your latest culinary endeavors!

Southern Sweet Deviled Eggs with Fennel Pollen

Confession time. I am a deviled egg connoisseur. Whenever I see them on a menu, I MUST order them, even if it means I have to eat the entire order. But I come from a long line of deviled egg eaters which means, unfortunately, that an entire order to myself is a very rare occurrence. There are so many varieties that I’m surprised there hasn’t been a cookbook written exclusively for the deviled egg! (Sidenote: There has! I just looked and here’s one from 2013, another one from 2014, and yet another from 2004. They all look great!)

  • 6 large hard boiled eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Miracle Whip (you can also use mayo instead, but you have to remove Southern from the title.)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard (any variety will do, but we like a good grain mustard)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp onion powder
  • ⅛ tsp smoked paprika + extra to sprinkle over the top
  • fennel pollen to garnish

1. Start with 6 peeled hard boil eggs. Use whatever method you prefer to get them to the hard boiled state, such as then Instant Pot method or the old school method. I am an InstantPot convert myself when it comes to eggs. I stick with the 5-5-5 rule. Cook 5 minutes, vent and cool 5 minutes, ice water bath 5 minutes. They come out perfect and easy to peel every time!

2. Slice eggs in half and remove yolks to a small bowl.

3. Mash the yolks with a fork and add Miracle Whip, mustard, relish and spices.

4. Stir everything together.

5. Use a spoon to add a portion of the deviled egg mixture back into the hole of each egg white.

6. Sprinkle on smoked paprika, followed by fennel pollen to garnish.

Happy Cooking!

deviled eggs with fennel pollen

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