Potatoes Au Gratin with Fennel and Bacon Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 2)
Reviewed: May 3, 2009
This was pretty good. I left out the fennel because my husband and I are afraid of the licorice taste. But the cooking time is lessened slightly with parboiling first and it was really cheesy bacony good.
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Reviewed: Apr. 13, 2009
I wanted a more subtly flavored cheese to go with the fennel, so used a packaged 'fondue blend' of Emmenthaler and Gruyere cheese (this was less expensive than straight Gruyere), and that worked out nicely. Also, I cut the bacon to 1/4 pound because a less-meaty version went better with my menu that day. With the full pound, I think this would make a great main dish. The sauce directions were perfect; it came out just the right consistency. More cooking time should definitely be allowed for the oven. Mine were not done at the recommended time, but then they went in the crockpot for a couple of hours until serving time, so it didn't matter.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Lakewood, Ohio, USA
Living In: Westlake, Ohio, USA

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Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2009
Pretty darn good... I was intrigued and leery about fennel, basil and nutmeg together in an au gratin, but it works! The fennel provides an almost root-y flavor that immediately made me think that this would be an excellent fall time dish, but no matter what time of year, it's good. I used the bacon grease for part of the fat in the roux and cut back on the cheese some. Added a little more seasoning, sprinkling the layers with seasoned salt, onion powder and pepper. Also put chopped red onion in with the fennel. I still like my old stand-by au gratin the best, but this one will definately be made again.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Maple Valley, Washington, USA

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Photo by korilynne
Reviewed: Apr. 6, 2009
I was a little skeptical after reading some of the reviews. But, I decided to make it anyway and I am so glad I did. It is a wonderfully delicious recipe following the directions exactly. My husband who hates anything out of the ordinary absolutely loved this and even took leftovers to work the next day. A definite keeper!
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Reviewed: Mar. 26, 2009
Very easy and very good. Bf liked it, which is always a plus. He's not one for trying new foods, and although he likes potatoes au gratin he's convinced he dislikes fennel. As a result, all I have in the house are fennel seeds. So, I put some fennel seeds in with the flour and milk mixture to get the flavor of fennel. I also added the basil and bacon to the cheese mix--I just am not a big fan of layering ingredients when they'll get mixed together anyway. Directions are spot on for a gratin, although 1 1/2 hours at 325 is not enough to bake these potatoes. I baked for about 2 hours with it covered, then another 1/2 hour uncovered to crisp the top. It was fine because I made it the night before and just warmed it up before we ate tonight. However, if you want to bake it in the 1 1/2 hours described, bake it at 400. Thanks for the recipe!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Pendleton, Oregon, USA
Living In: Dumfries, Virginia, USA

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Reviewed: Mar. 10, 2009
Very nice recipe. Thanks for the keeper!
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Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Morganfield, Kentucky, USA

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Reviewed: Nov. 8, 2008
I omitted the bacon because I was serving this as a side dish to a roasted pork tenderloin. It was exactly the side dish I was looking for! Would be a great holiday side dish, too. Again, I really don't think you need the bacon at all! Dee-lish! Save some of the cheddar to sprinkle on the top and broil to crisp it up a wee bit before serving.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Chelan, Washington, USA

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Reviewed: Oct. 19, 2008
Good, but not worth the calories and time involved for me. The fennel remained crisp, so the texture wasn't just right. The sauce didn't quite cover the top -- if using a 9 x 13 pan, use only 1/4 of sauce on layers one and two to cover completely with layer three. (I made it just as described except I parboiled the potatoes so I could peel them easily and slice then thin.) Update: A lot of leftovers as we didn't really enjoy this. I put the leftovers in a blender with some skim milk and then heated it for soup, and that was pretty good.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Living In: Long Island, New York, USA

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Reviewed: Oct. 19, 2008
Love it, love it, love it! And my picky boyfriend does, too. Great with pork loin and salad. Be brave with the basil- would prefer a little more next time. I took the advice to par-boil the potatoes, boiled for about 7 minutes, then sliced. Cook for the full 90 minutes. Thanks for a good one! Having never had fennel before, I feel much more confident after tasting this great dish.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Reviewed: Sep. 16, 2008
DELISH! I used smart balance margarine in lieu of butter, reduced the flour to 4T, used 1 12 oz can f/f evaporated milk and additional 8 oz of 1% milk (6 oz initially and the other 2 as the cheese sauce congealed between layering to thin it out), used 4 oz of velveeta 2%, 9 slices (1/2 package) of low sodium bacon, and added a small onion cut into rings and layered with everything. I was skeptical about the basil, and thought parsley would work better, but tried it and it worked! thanks for this recipe.
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