Cooking Tip: Rip Off the Right People

Thank you, Pete Wells at the New York Times, for turning me on to a new pizza topping combination. Fennel shines as the star of this bold-flavored pie. Cook it into your sauce along with onion, garlic, and tomatoes. Nice and simple. A little red wine, a little chicken stock, and a healthy dose of sugar to bring out the fennel’s sweet notes. (I based this on a braised fennel fiasco I had years ago at the French Culinary Institute.) Spread the chunky sauce over your dough and cover with crumbled and cooked hot Italian sausage and aged cheddar cheese. The sweet fennel really sings when paired with that heat and that bite. In two weeks, this pizza pie has already had several encores.

I guess it’s time to get started on this week’s good idea from Pete Wells’ review of this new bourbon mecca: “I have seen poached eggs over grits all around town, but I’ve rarely tasted a version as compelling as Maysville’s. The grits are creamier and the egg is softer, just barely set, so it dissolves on your tongue like warm jelly. Then Mr. Knall … takes it deeper, adding sensationally tender duck confit, sautéed trumpet mushrooms and a few rich spoonfuls of smoked duck broth.”

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