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Sauteed Red Snapper with Creamed Fennel and Onion

1 small onion, sliced thin
1 fennel or anise bulb (about 3/4 pound), trimmed and sliced thin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons medium-dry Sherry
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds, or to taste
about 1/4 cup water
two 1/2-pound red snapper fillets seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper


In a skillet cook the onion and the sliced fennel in 2 tablespoons of the butter, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes, or until the fennel is just tender. Stir in the Sherry and boil the mixture, uncovered, for 1 minute. Stir in the cream, the vinegar, the fennel seeds, and salt and pepper to taste, cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, adding the water as needed to thin the sauce if desired, for 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and keep it warm. In the skillet, cleaned, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides and in it saute the snapper, starting skin sides down, for 3 minutes on each side, or until it just flakes. Divide the onion and fennel mixture between 2 heated plates and arrange a snapper fillet on each plate.

Source: www.epicurious.com