Fiddle-Dee-Dee May 14, 2009Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Cooking Challenge, Food, random stuff.
So now I’m thinking about Scarlett O’Hara, and that’s not at all the point here.
By the way, did anyone (besides me) read the sequel to Gone With The Wind, Scarlett?
Yeah, I’ll bet you’re sorry if you did, aren’t you?
Anyway. Fiddle dee dee.
Last weekend, when we went to the market, we picked up yet another local, seasonal delicacy – this time it’s fiddleheads.
Here’s the scoop on fiddleheads – they’re the immature fronds of the ostrich fern, and they’re only available for a couple of weeks a year. They have to be ostrich fern, and they have to be fully cooked, otherwise you risk, well, stomach upset. Or something. So anyway. I paid money for immature fern fronds.
If I’d only known. I’ve got ferns growing under the deck, and, a couple of weeks ago, they were immature, too.
Now they’re just plain old ferns.
Oh well. Live and learn, right? Besides, I’m thinking that if we had “harvested” the fronds, well, then, we wouldn’t have any ferns left, now would we?
Always thinking, that’s me.
Once I got the ferns home from the market, I cleaned them and we steamed them. All but one of the “recipes” I found for preparing this New England favorite directed me to, first off, either steam or blanch them, even if I’m going to “cook” them besides. And remember, I have the power of the WHOLE INTERNET at my fingertips.
The guy at the market just said to saute them with some garlic and oil – he didn’t say word one about blanching.
However, apparently, we want to be sure they’re cooked. So we blanched them first, just to be on the safe side. Not that they’d kill us or anything – just keep us in the bathroom all night. Maybe.
And we only have the one bathroom.
To blanch, I cleaned the little fern guys (they kind of look like inchworms, don’t they?) and put them in the steamer basket. I put a little lemon juice, a garlic clove, and some salt in about an inch of water, covered the pan, and brought it to a boil, then I shut it off and let it just sit and, well, steam.
Because we weren’t eating them right away, I stuck the greens (because, let’s face it, that’s what they are) in a container and stashed them in the fridge until we were ready to enjoy them. (I hope!)
So. It’s a couple of days later, and we’re going to enjoy our fiddle-dee-dee-heads with some pork chops and mashed potatoes.
I think we’ll saute them with some garlic. In the ENTIRE INTERNET, this seems to be the most popular thing to do with them, and, well, we like olive oil AND garlic, so, well, why not, right?
I’m going to use “Extra Light” (tasting) olive oil, because, well, we want to taste what we’re cooking, right?
That, and that’s pretty much our every day, go-to olive oil.
Along with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, I crushed, then roughly chopped, about four cloves of garlic.
We like love garlic.
Besides, as long as we’re both eating garlic, it kind of cancels itself out, right?
Of COURSE it does.
So once the oil – with a bit of garlic in it – gets hot, we toss in the fiddleheads.
Just saute that for about 5 minutes, just until the greens are hot and the garlic is nicely done. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, a couple of grinds of black pepper, and we’re set.
Our first impression was that fiddleheads taste . . . green.
Now I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. They’re just very, very fresh-tasting, and verdant. Kind of like when you put a lot (and I mean a LOT) of parsley in something.
I guess I’d have to say it kind of tastes like . . . spring.
I will to be submitting these ferns to Home-Ec101.com’s Fearless Fridays, this week, because, after all, what’s more adventurous than cooking and eating . . . fern?