Argentine Sausage With Sauteed Fennel

Maricel Presilla, chef/owner of Cucharamama in Hoboken—one of NJM’s Top 25 Restaurants—contributes this succulent appetizer with an intriguing combination of textures.

ARGENTINE SAUSAGE WITH SAUTÉED FENNEL (Chorizo Argentino con Hinojo Salteado)

Succulent, golden brown sausages nestled on a bed of sautéed fennel make a stupendous
and substantial appetizer or a light supper with salad and bread.  “I use brown loaf sugar for fruity sweetness, sherry vinegar for winey acidity, Spanish smoked paprika for backbone and anise to bring out the fennel’s true aroma,” says Maricel Presilla, chef/owner of Cucharamama in Hoboken. “Thinly sliced and quickly sautéed with garlic and onions, the fennel becomes tender but remains pleasantly crisp. Serve with crusty bread and a Bodegas Escorihuela Gascón Syrah from Mendoza, Argentina, which has a subtle hint of anise.”

Serves: 6


4 large fennel bulbs (about 12 ounces each)
 ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for sausage
 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
 ¼ cup grated brown loaf sugar (preferably Colombian panela), dark brown sugar or
1 small yellow onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon smoked hot paprika, preferably Pimentóin de la Vera
1 teaspoon anise seed or fennel
Sea salt


6 links Argentine or sweet Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste with mortar and pestle or finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
 Sprigs of fresh fennel and fronds

Preparing the fennel: Cut off the fibrous bottom layer and the stalks close to the
bulb. Reserve some of the feathery greens for garnishing. Rinse, pat dry and quarter
lengthwise. Remove the hard core at the base of each section. Slice thinly lengthwise and

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring,
until light gold, about 20 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 6
minutes. Stir in the sugar and cook, stirring, until it dissolves. Add the fennel and
sauté 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, paprika and anise, and cook, stirring, until tender yet
still crisp. Turn off the heat and set aside skillet.

Preparing the sausages: Heat the broiler. Place the sausages in a metal-handled skillet or
on a small baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil. Place under broiler, about 6 inches from heat source, turning several times, until golden, about 20 minutes.

Slice the sausages in half lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic and
pepper. Put back under the broiler until golden brown.

Serving: Reheat the fennel. Mound equal portions on 6 appetizer plates and top each
with two sausage halves arranged in a cross fashion. Garnish with fennel sprigs.

Click here to read a detailed review of Cucharamama.

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