1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 pound bacon, diced and rendered until 90% cooked - fat reserved
1 large leek, white part only - cleaned, halved and chopped
4celery stalks, chopped and leaves reserved
6 croissants, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
Fennel-seed Cornbread (recipe follows), cut into 1-inch cubes
2tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2cups chicken, beef or pork broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large 10-12 inch skillet, saute the bacon until 80-90% cooked.
- Add the butter. After the butter has melted, add the leek and celery.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the leek mixture is soft and translucent. Add the sage and thyme in the last minute of cooking. Remove from the heat.
- Place the corn bread and the croissant in a large mixing bowl and toss in the leek-herb and bacon mixture.
- In a small bowl, combine the broth, cream and eggs and stir together. Incorporate this into the bread mixture and season with the salt and cayenne.
- Return to the skillet to bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top. This should take 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2tablespoons bacon grease or canola oil
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2cup all-purpose flour
2teaspoons baking powder
2teaspoons Kosher salt
2teaspoons fennel seed (toasted and ground)
1/2teaspoon baking soda
2large eggs, beaten
2tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a 9- or 10-inch cast-iron skillet with the bacon grease and place it in the oven to heat while you mix the batter.
- Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, ground fennel seed, and baking soda in a large bowl and stir to mix. Add the buttermilk, eggs, and butter and stir until just combined; do not over-mix. The batter should be lumpy.
- Pour the batter into the hot skillet and sprinkle the top with a little salt and the whole fennel seeds.
- Bake until the top is golden brown and a sharp knife or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, serve immediately with butter or cool at room temperature.