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fiddlehead ferns and other delights of spring/summer

 
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eileen



Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 67
Location: antwerp, belgium

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 3:41 am    Post subject: fiddlehead ferns and other delights of spring/summer Reply with quote

greetings!
i am visiting friends in portland, oregon and picked up some lovely fiddlehead ferns at the market today. any ideas on how to use them? nothing too weird, as my friends are finding the fact that i bought ferns weird enough.
cheers,
eileen
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eileen: Here's a link to a site that is stuffed to capacity with recipes and instructions on handling fiddlehead ferns. It was way too much to copy here. Hope you find some good recipes and help on that site! Just to let you know: if you find a recipe that involves asparagus, substituting fiddleheads for the aspargus is fairly common.

http://www.wild-harvest.com/pages/fiddlehead.htm

But, if you're just looking for recipes, here's a couple:

Fiddlehead Fern Soup

4 cups fiddleheads -- fresh and cleaned
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion -- minced
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper -- to taste
paprika
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fiddleheads, return to a boil and cook until they are almost tender and turn pale green, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Coarsely chop and reserve.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fiddleheads and chicken stock. Stir, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil. Cover and cook until the fiddleheads are thoroughly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the milk, reduce the heat to medium, and heat until nearly boiling. Do not let the soup boil or the milk will curdle.
Stir in the lemon zest and season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the soup into four bowls, garnish with paprika and serve immediately.
Serves 4.

******************************************************

Spring Vegetable Quiche
From Diana Rattray,Your Guide to Southern U.S. Cuisine.

This is delicious with asparagus, but if you're lucky enough to find fresh or frozen fiddleheads, try them.
Prep Time :
Cook Time :
Type of Prep : Bake
Cuisine : U.S. Regional
Occasion :

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon butter
6 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
8 asparagus spears about 4 inches in length, or about 6 to 8 ounces of fresh fiddleheads
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack or mild Cheddar cheese
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup half and half
grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
pepper to taste
dash of nutmeg, freshly ground if possible
PREPARATION:


Sauté mushrooms until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a plate; set aside.
Rinse the skillet out; fill with water to a depth of about 2 inches. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring water to a boil; add trimmed asparagus or fiddleheads. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, or just until tender. Bake the pie crust at 375° for 10 minutes to partially cook the crust. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese and mushrooms over bottom of shell. Arrange asparagus spears in a spoke fashion over mushrooms or arrange fiddleheads in an even layer. In a medium bowl lightly beat eggs with half and half, lemon peel, juice, salt and pepper, and nutmeg; pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Set the pie on a cookie sheet in a preheated 350° oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.
Makes 6 servings.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 1:43 am    Post subject: fiddlehead memories.. Reply with quote

Darling Eileen 'n DQ...golly the things I'm learning!

All kinds of reasons why I've been away from the delights of C 'n Z Sad ...and then the day I dive in again...FIDDLEHEAD FERNS! They have great symbolic meaning for me...and Eileen was my dear mother's name..and as for Dairy...it has to be the top food group!

So I'm tickled pink to read these posts this morning...it is a joyous reminder that regardless of some aspects of life, there ARE others...

say no more Madame S, say no more Wink

Now, whenever I come across a fiddlehead it will have even richer memories...how delightful for me eh.

I had no idea they could be used in cooking ~ the generosity of the earth..
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful story and remembrance, Madame S. Smile It's always nice when you can combine several positive emotions and memories in one wee plant...yeah Fiddlehead Ferns!

My 'trigger' is pansies and morning glories, the two flowers that I will tie forever with my beloved Grandmother. I plant them every year in remembrance of her.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eileen, fiddleheads are popular here in central and eastern Canada. The link DQ gave gives good advice about the proper cleaning of these babies. But really, the best way to eat them is the plainest! Just steam them and serve them hot with butter melting all over it! YUM!!!
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