makes 4 servings
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 fennel bulbs (sometimes called anise; 2 pounds), stalks discarded and bulbs cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (14 fluid ounces)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped drained sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 (7-ounce) pieces cod, scrod, or halibut fillet (about 1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Garnish: fennel fronds
Cook bacon in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil to fat in skillet, then cook fennel with salt and pepper over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add broth, cream, tomatoes, and garlic to fennel and cook, partially covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until fennel is tender and cream is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
While fennel cooks, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Season fillets with salt and pepper, then sauté 4 minutes. Turn over and sauté until just cooked through, about 3 minutes more.
Stir mustard and bacon into fennel ragout and season with salt and pepper. Serve cod over fennel ragout.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Gourmet, December 2003