Hi; newby alert.
I didn't grow up cooking, my housewife mother wouldn't let me, but from her I did learn what tasted good. I've been experimenting with different recipes, including my mothers spaghetti sauce that I grew up loving. When we were young, she would use fennel seed, but can't remember (old age, and old style cooking) how much and how she made it with the fennel. Knowing that toasted fennel is used in sausage, I wondered if I should toast it first, prior to putting it with the ground turkey (my 'updated' version of her recipe) or throw it in the sauce as is. Also, is it better to add the spice when browning the meat (or meats--italian sausage and turkey) or when I add the tomato's?
The 'jist' of my mother's alzhiemers remembered recipe:
Blanch tomato's; let sit for 15 and skin.
Brown 1 lb ground beef (don't drain)
Add 4 onions (yep, four), and 1 green bell pepper, fresh chopped garlic, bay leaf(s) (I'd add fresh basil and some oregano here and with more fresh garlic as well in the sauce later)
Add at least 8 tomatoes (she keeps all seeds and juice for a long cook), can(s) of tomato sauce and maybe paste and canned diced tomatoes if needed.
Salt and sugar.
Bring to boil and simmer for as long as it takes.
I've tried to point out my mother's differences with other recipes I've read. Besides my own version of this recipe (turkey sub, italian sausage added, and fresh garlic sautaed mushrooms in the last 30 minutes), what do you think about fennel? Toasted or not?
What I really need to know is, what flavour does it add, whether toasted or not. I may end up trying both ways down the line, but, your thoughts on the flavours is appreciated! Thanks.
Edited by DevelopingTaste - 8/17/11 at 8:20am