Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fiddleheads & Fish


Fiddleheads & Fish, originally uploaded by emmasdaughter.

Today I played in my kitchen. While perusing the fresh produce at my local grocers I came across some fun looking little items called Fiddlehead Ferns.

Now, from what I understand, if you live in the northeastern United States or Canada, these little delicacies are well known. But me, being born and raised in northern California, had only read about them in fairy tales...er gourmet cookbooks.

Wanting to live the cooking fairy tale, I bagged up the prettiest ones I could find. Being a cautious sort of fairy tale person, I only got about 1/2 lb.

Excited with my find, I ran to the seafood counter and perused the fish. I mean, what good cooking fairy tale doesn't consist of fresh fish? Little Mermaid? Big Fish? A Fish Called Wanda? I searched for the perfect fish. Cod? No, to blase'. Halibut? No, same-o same-o. Salmon? Way too pricey this week. But then, stop! Wait! Steelhead Trout!!! That was it! I snagged the largest filet in the case and ran with delight to the checkout counter.

Fast forward to evening...

Trout is in the oven...producing an enticing aroma of sesame oil and seasonings. The ferns are nestled cozily in with mushrooms, garlic and sundried tomatoes. Can't wait to see and taste!

Fast forwad to dinner...

Oh! The flavors and textures! Amazing! Glorious in their simplicity. The trout a wonder of tender flavor, enhanced marvelously with the spices. The ferns? All I can say is "why is the fiddle head season so short?" Should have gotten another 10 lbs or so.

You must try this entire meal if you have the ferns available. If you have a Whole Foods Market near you, I think you can get them. Here is the preparation directions for both dishes;

Northwoods Trout
(preheat oven to 350 degrees)

One large 1 1/2 to 2 lb Steelhead or Salmon filet
1 tbs Northwoods Fire Seasoning (go to Penzeys.com)
1 tbs Dill
2 tbs Brown Sugar
1 tbs Sesame Oil
1 tbs Soy Sauce
1/2 tbs Balsamic Vinegar

Line a 13x9 inch baking dish with foil and place trout, skin side down.
In a small bowl, combine all of the seasonings, sugar, soy sauce, oil and vinegar. Cover trout with mixture. Cover baking dish with foil.
Place in preheated oven and bake until fish flakes and is tender - about 15 minutes.

Serve drizzled with pan juices.

Fiddleheads with Garlic and Mushrooms

1/2 lb Fiddleheads, washed and cleaned
2 cloves elephant garlic, peeled and sliced
6 mushrooms, sliced
4 sundried tomatoes, packed in olive oil
2 tbs oil from sundried tomato jar
salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a lidded saute pan. Saute, stirring occasionally for approximately 15 minutes or until fiddleheads are tender.

This was the most wonderful fairy tale that has ever come from my kitchen!

1 comment:

Boondock Ma (Kim's Mom) said...

We have fiddleheads around here. I've tried them a few times but wasn't sure how to prepare them so just marinated them in pickle juice. Was not impressed!

This sounds good enough I might give em another try! One question. When you purchase them, do they have the red "fuzz" on them? If so, do you have a trick for removing it easily? The fiddleheads I've harvested in the past were so small that it took forever to clean the red off!