Parmesan Polenta with Roasted Grapes and Sausage

Found this little recipe over at Bon Appetit. It looked descent for a cold fall evening. However, I do not believe in making polenta in the microwave. Wha? So, I rejected this silliness and substituted my own creamy parmesan polenta recipe. I mean, seriously, Bon Appetit? Microwave? I ain't making popcorn here, people. 

Ingredients

For Polenta:

7 1/2 c. water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups coarse-ground cornmeal

2 tablespoons butter

4 oz. Parmesan, or to taste

 

 

For Sausage

2 sprigs of thyme

Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoon of butter

1 lb. sausage, your choice

1/3 c. Chicken Broth, (homemade if available)

1 lb. seedless red grapes, cut into small bunches

1/4 c. shallots, chopped

1/3 c dry white wine

parsley, for garnish

Directions: 

1. STEP AWAY FROM THE MICROWAVE!!!!

2.Bring water to boil in heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in salt and baking soda. Slowly pour cornmeal into water in steady stream, while stirring back and forth with wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Bring mixture to boil, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting and cover. If you have gas (hehehe), use a flame-tamer, if you have one, to keep from scorching the bottom. 

3. After 5 minutes, whisk polenta to smooth out any lumps that may have formed, about 15 seconds. (Make sure to scrape down sides and bottom of pan.) Cover and continue to cook, without stirring, until grains of polenta are tender but slightly al dente, about 25 minutes longer. (Polenta should be loose and barely hold its shape but will continue to thicken as it cools.)

4. Remove from heat, stir in butter and Parmesan, and season to taste with black pepper. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. 

5. Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages and fry until browned, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes.

6. Add broth, remaining 2 thyme sprigs, grapes, and shallots to skillet; transfer to oven. Roast, turning grapes and sausages halfway through cooking time, until grapes begin to caramelize and sausages are cooked through and begin to burst, 12–15 minutes.

7. Spoon polenta into wide, shallow bowls. Arrange sausages and grapes over. Add wine to skillet; stir over high heat, scraping up browned bits. Drizzle pan sauce over sausages. Sprinkle with parsley.

 

Fall Chicken Pot Pie

With the days starting to get shorter and there's a distinct chill in the air, I figured it was time to dust off the slow-cooker. 

This recipe can be made on the cheap. I found a 6 lb bag of chicken legs for $3 at the store the other day. Perfect! You can substitute the squash with regular potatoes and the green beans for peas to make this a more traditional pot pie. 

For the Stock: 

3lbs. Chicken legs and/or thighs, skin removed

1 Large carrot, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 medium onion, diced medium

1 bay leaf

1 bundle of thyme

4 garlic cloves, smashed

3 quarts water

For the Crust:

2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups, unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon table salt

2 tablespoons sugar

12 tablespoons, unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled

1/4 cup vodka, preferably that's been in the freezer

1/4 cup cold water

 

Directions

For Crust: 

1. Process 1½ cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined. Add butter and shortening; process until dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps. Add remaining 1 cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up. 

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture and pulse until combined. Empty mixture into bowl. With a wooden spoon, gently mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into 2 balls (1 slightly larger) and flatten each into a disk. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.

3. Remove larger disk from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer carefully to pie plate, pressing dough into the bowl.  Roll out second disk until about 10" in diameter. Using ruler make strips either 1/2" or 1" wide. Transfer to large plate. Refrigerate both until firm, about an hour.

Note: This step can be done a day in advance. Store in refrigerator and remove 20 minutes before you need it. 

For the Filling:

1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 large, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

Kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped

3 pounds skinless chicken legs and thighs

4 cups rich chicken stock, (see stock recipe on left)

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces green beans

6 sage leaves, finely chopped 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons All-purpose Flour

1 egg

2 tablespoons of water

 

For Stock:

1. Mix all ingredients together in a slow-cooker. 

2. Cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours, or on LOW for 7-8 hours, stirring every so often. The smell with fill the house! 

3. Strain liquid and reserve. 

Note: After a low, slow cook the chicken will fall off the bones. It's your choice if you want to reserve the meat for us in this recipe. However, the chicken at this point will be tasteless as all their flavor is now in your broth! 

For the Filling and Assembly: 

1. Coat the bottom of a stock pot lightly with olive oil put over medium heat.

2. Add the onions, celery and the carrots and sprinkle with salt. Saute the vegetables for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sweat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt, then add the chicken and cover with the chicken stock adding water if necessary to cover chicken completely. Bring the stock to a boil, over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. While the chicken is simmering, add the butternut squash to a large bowl, drizzle with some olive oil and add salt, to taste. Toss to coat the squash with the oil and transfer to a baking sheet. Roast in a 400 degree oven until the squash is cooked but still has some texture, about 15 to 20 minutes, checking doneness halfway. Remove from the oven and reserve.

4. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the stock and put into a large bowl. Reserve the stock. When the cool enough to handle, remove the bones from the chicken and stir into the vegetables. Add the roasted squash to the chicken and vegetables. Stir to combine and season with salt, if needed. Stir in the green beans and the sage.

5. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine with melted butter. Cook stirring frequently until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand and is starting to turn a little beige, about 6 to 7 minutes. Gradually whisk in the reserved chicken stock. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. When the stock is combined into the roux, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until it has a gravy-like consistency, about 20 to 25 minutes. If the gravy reduces too much and becomes too thick, whisk in a little more chicken stock or water.

6. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add the chicken mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish or 4 individual (2 cup) crocks. Ladle the "gravy" over the chicken mixture until the dish(s) are 3/4 filled.

7. Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll the dough into the shape of the casserole dish or large enough to cut circles to cover the individual casserole dishes. Whichever dishes are being used the dough needs to have generous overhang of dough on the edges of the dish. Brush the outside edges of the dish with a little of the egg wash to help "glue" the dough to sides of the dish. Fold the edges of the dough under and press it onto the edges of the dish. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining egg wash. Cut a couple of vents in the top of the dough to allow the steam to escape.

8. Bake in the preheated oven until the dough is golden brown and the inside is hot and bubbly, about 30 to 35 minutes. 

Andrew's Devilish Mac & Cheese

There are a few recipes I make so often that they go through many different variations. This is one such recipe. I think we've finally settled on this one!

Careful! It's sinfully good and devilishly hot!

Ingredients 

6-8 slices of bacon
6 slices white sandwich bread (good-quality, about 6 ounces), torn into rough pieces
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 12-ounce can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups milk
10 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon table salt

Directions

1. Cook bacon over low heat until crisp. Drain and chop fine. Reserve bacon fat.

2. Pulse bread or muffins and 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in food processor until chopped and well mixed. Set aside

3. Adjust oven rack to middle shelf and preheat oven to 350. Bring 4 quarts of well-salted water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat. Add macaroni and cook until pasta is almost el dente. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.  Set aside in colander.

3. In now-empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken). Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheese, peppers with adobo sauce (to taste) and 1 teaspoon salt until cheese is fully melted. Add pasta and stir until combined. Pour into 13x19 baking dish and bake until warmed thru. Do not allow to boil! 

4. Turn on boiler and broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, then sprinkle with reserved bacon and serve.

African Chicken Peanut Stew

This recipe, courtesy of Simply Recipes is perfect for those freezing cold spring nights. Yup, spring. Good stew to keep you warm. 

Ingredients

3 pounds chicken thighs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large yellow, sliced
3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
8 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup peanut butter, plain
1 cup roasted peanuts, non-salted
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
Salt and black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

Directions

1.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Salt the chicken pieces well, pat them dry and brown them in the oil. Don't crowd the pot, so do this in batches. Set the chicken pieces aside as they brown.

2.  Sauté the onions in the oil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes and stir well to combine.

3.  Add the chicken, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, coriander and cayenne and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt, adding more if needed. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 90 minutes, or until the chicken meat easily falls off the bone and the sweet potatoes are tender.

4.  Remove the chicken pieces and set them in a bowl until cool enough to touch. Remove and discard the skin. Shred the meat off the bones and put the meat back in the pot.

5.  Adjust the seasonings for salt and cayenne, then add as much black pepper as you think you can stand—the stew should be peppery. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

slightly modified from Simply Recipe

 

Sausage and Penne

This is one of our favorite weeknight dishes. I make it at least once a week. It's fast, cheap, and tastes pretty darn good!

Ingredients 

1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 large garlic cloves , minced
4 cups chicken broth
8 ounces penne pasta
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
6 ounces baby spinach, torn into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts , toasted

Directions

1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet add sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until lightly browned. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Stir in broth, penne, sun-dried tomatoes, and ½ teaspoon salt. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring often, until penne is tender and liquid has thickened, 15 to 18 minutes.

3. Stir in spinach, handful at a time, cover and cook until wilted. Off heat, stir in Parmesan and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Pesto Spaghetti with Keilbasa and Red Peppers

I like experimenting (especially when supplies start running low).  I used my go-to pesto recipe.

I'd give it an 8.5 out of 10 :) 

For Pesto

1 bunch of basil, washed and dried

1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted

1/4 cup parmesan reggiano

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin

salt and pepper

For Pasta

1 lb keilbasa, any kind

1 large red pepper

1 lb spaghetti

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

parmesan, for garnish

Directions

1. Fill a large dutch oven with cold water and liberally season with salt. Drop smashed garlic into water. Place over high heat. Preheat boiler. 

2. Meanwhile, place basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and salt and pepper in food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped.  With machine running, slowly add olive oil until mixture becomes slightly soupy, but still holds a shape. Reserve. 

3. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add keilbasa and sauté until lightly browned and cooked thru. 

4. Place red peppers on a wire rack on rimmed baking sheet. Place baking sheet on top level of oven and broil until red pepper skins are very charred. Carefully remove peppers and place in a ziplock bad. Seal and allow to cool. When cool enough to touch, remove charred skin and mince. 

5. When water comes to a boil, place spaghetti in water and stir constantly. Cook until spaghetti is almost al dente (usually 1 minute less than package instructions). Drain and return spaghetti to pot. 

6. Mix in the pesto until mixed throughout. Add keilbasa and red peppers and stir to combine. 

7. Serve with extra parmesan. 

Chicken Canzanese

This is one of my favorites. It's a one-pot-wonder, so clean up is easy! And, naturally, everything tastes good when cooking with wine.

I used a paper background for this one and adjusted the color to best fit the image. I could have done a red color, but I like the contrast of this bluish hue.

Note: I believe this recipe comes from Cooks Country, originally, or America's Test Kitchen!  

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces prosciutto (1/4 inch thick), cut into 1/4-inch cubes (see note)
4 medium garlic cloves , sliced thin lengthwise
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat and skin
Ground black pepper
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
5 whole cloves
1 sprig fresh rosemary , leaves removed and minced fine, stem reserved
7 whole fresh sage leaves
1 large bay leaf
Big pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon lemon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees with rack in bottom half. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed ovensafe skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic slices and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is golden brown, about 1½ minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic and prosciutto to small bowl and set aside. 

2. Increase heat to medium-high; add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and heat until just smoking. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with ground black pepper. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until well browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken and brown on second side, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to large plate.

3. Remove all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan. Sprinkle flour over fat and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly add wine and broth; bring to simmer, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Cook until liquid is slightly reduced, 3 minutes. Stir in cloves, rosemary stem, sage leaves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and reserved prosciutto and garlic. Nestle chicken into liquid, skin side up (skin should be above surface of liquid), and bake, uncovered, until meat offers no resistance when poked with fork but is not falling off bones, about 1 hour 15 minutes. 

4. Using tongs, transfer chicken to serving platter and tent with foil. Remove and discard sage leaves, rosemary stem, cloves, and bay leaves. Place skillet over high heat and bring sauce to boil. Cook until sauce is reduced to 1¼ cups, 2 to 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in minced rosemary, lemon juice, and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce around chicken and serve.

Chicken Soup and Dumplings

After enjoying a week of above freezing temps, New England is again feeling winter's bite. It's a damp, raw, bone-chilling cold. 

Time to make soup. 

I like to make my own broth. It's comforting. However, feel free to use whatever ready-made you wish! 

So far, my favorite broth recipe is Anne Burrell's Basic Chicken Broth.  I included it below. I highly recommend it!  

chkdum 005.jpg

Ingredients

For Broth:

2 pounds chicken legs, skins removed
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch dice
2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch dice
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
10 sprigs thyme

For Dumplings:

2 cups all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup buttermilk , cold (see note)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg white

   

For Soup:

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Table salt and ground black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 small onions , chopped fine
2 medium carrots , peeled and diced    medium
1 celery rib , medium, chopped fine
1/4cup dry sherry
6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Chopped fresh parsley leaves
 

Directions

For Broth:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place chicken legs on a sheet pan. Lightly coat with oil and roast until golden, about 35 to 45 minutes.

2. Coat a large, deep stock pot lightly with olive oil. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pot and bring it to a medium high heat. Cook the vegetables stirring frequently until they start to get soft and are very aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Remove the chicken from the oven and add to the pot of vegetables along with the bay leaves and thyme. Fill the pot with water. Place the pot on a burner on high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Eventually a gray scum will form on the top of the water. Skim the scum and the fat off the top of the water. Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Refill the water as it evaporates.

4. Strain stock and discard the chicken and veggies.

For Soup:

1. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook until skin is crisp and well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken pieces and brown on second side, 5 to 7 minutes longer; transfer to large plate. Discard all but 1 teaspoon fat from pot.

2. Add onions, carrots, and celery to now-empty pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. Stir in sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in broth and thyme. Return chicken thighs, with any accumulated juices, to pot. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until thigh meat offers no resistance when poked with tip of paring knife but still clings to bones, 45 to 55 minutes.

3. Remove pot from heat and transfer chicken to cutting board. Skim fat from soup. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin from chicken. Using fingers or fork, pull meat from chicken thighs and cut into 1-inch pieces. Return meat to pot.

For Dumplings:

1. Whisk flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps; whisk in egg white. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.

2. Return stew to simmer; stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using greased tablespoon measure, scoop level amount of batter and drop over top of stew, spacing dumplings a little bit a part (they will expand). Wrap lid of Dutch oven with clean kitchen towel (keeping towel away from heat source) and cover pot. Simmer gently until dumplings have doubled in size and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 13 to 16 minutes.

3. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately!

Butternut Squash Risotto

I did a fall favorite tonight. 

The weather feels like spring, but more snow and much colder temps are on the way. So, I needed a "comfort" food. Seemed appropriate.  

This is my own recipe entirely. Yeah, I sorta made it up on the spot. *grins* I've made risotto so many times, after all. 

Photographically, I left the lighting the same as the last shot. In fact, I think I'll dedicate a spot in my office for these types of photos. It'll make a great series! (See, always thinking (or .... trying to)). 

buttnut 0508.jpg

INGREDIENTS

4 cups chicken broth 
1  small onion, finely chopped
1  cup butternut squash, peeled, and finely diced
1  cups arborio rice
1  cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2  Tbsp Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

1.  Heat broth in medium saucepan and keep warm and covered over low heat. If you like garlic, smash a garlic clove and toss it in. 

2. Heat large sauté pan over medium high heat and add generous amount of olive oil. Swirl to coat. Add diced Butternut Squash. 

3. Saute, tossing frequently, until slightly darker and a small amount of fond develops on bottom of pan and squash is almost soft (it will cook more later).

4. Remove squash and add onions to oil, adding more if needed. Cook until soft, but not colored. 

5. Add rice. Cook, until oil is mostly absorbed and rice is starting to brown.

6. Add wine. Cook, stirring constantly until wine has been absorbed by the rice or evaporated. Add a few ladles of broth, just enough to barely cover rice. Cook, string frequently, until broth has been absorbed. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes.

7. During the third addition of broth, add reserved squash and tablespoon of butter. Cook until squash is heated thru and the risotto is still "runny". 

8.  Season with salt, pepper, parmesan, and parsley. 

9. Serve with additional parsley and parmesan. 

Lobster Fettuccine with Fennel and Thyme Cream Sauce

Photographically, I did something I don't believe is seen often these days. With a few friends going to photography school (Alexis, Erin L., Sarah and Mike E.) I'm curious if they will know what I'm about to do? (If not, they need to drill their instructors.) 

I'm measuring for my D.O.F.  (I know, right? why not chimp it by see ing what's on my monitor?)

For this meal, I want my DOF to be very minimal. I want the field of focus to be about an inch. 

This is easy to calculate, even by hand. (I will be posting a tutorial this weekend on how to do so, but it involves  . . . GASP! . . . .  8th grade math). 

Why can't I just "chimp" it? (why can't I just shoot and see how it looks on the big screen?) Well, it's food. Food is very unforgiving. It doesn't allow you to have the time to shoot and check.  Even with a dummy stand-in, I have to be sure. Especially with this recipe. Even in the two exposure I made, the sauce started to harden. Not pretty photographically. 

Why would I want such a shallow focus? Well, for this meal, I wanted the main subject to be what's in the focus - I wanted the lobster, garnish and pasta to be the star. Now, since the pasta would solidify quickly (and it DID - like, in a major way, so when serving this, use hot bowls), I wanted to hide the rest of the plate. My focus is to be on the few main ingredients at the top where I placed them. This meant a focus within an inch.

Here is a preview of the setup:

 I lifted up the plate to help blur the cloth background further by placing the plate on a small box. As you can see, I used a tape measure to calculate my dof. 

I lifted up the plate to help blur the cloth background further by placing the plate on a small box. As you can see, I used a tape measure to calculate my dof. 

 But, I digress. Time for the goods . . . . really draws the eye, no?

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

1 medium fennel bulb, cored, and chopped fine

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves

3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/3 cup dry sherry

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

1 pound fettuccine (dried)

Meat from 2 chicken Lobsters (about 1/2 pound)

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.. Add the onion, fennel, and pinch of salt and cook until softened. Stir in the thyme, garlic, and cayenne and cook until fragrant.  Stir in the sherry and simmer until it has nearly evaporated.

2. Stir in the broth, water, and cream. Stir in the pasta and bring to a boil stirring often, until the fettuccine is tender.

3. Reduce the heat and add the lobster. Cook, tossing, until the lobster is just warmed through.

4. Season with salt and pepper, extra thyme and serve immediately.