Well, I was upset because I thought of these unique nibbles after the fact this past week, or when the season was almost over. I often make them three or four times in the season for Hubby, he loves them! Luckily I got some to prepare in spite their time is really almost over. Hubby working long hours and traveling I have been cooking light for myself and simply had not been looking for Fiddlehead Ferns. We prefer to get them early on, but you can find them dragging into the end of May, maybe the beginning of June, but be careful. Ask the market where they came from.
The weather has been oddly cooler this month in my North Eastern area, so I was not surprised to see them in the vegetable department of Whole Foods. I have made Fiddlehead Ferns many different ways, but this is my favorite so far- Mustard Creamed Fiddlehead Ferns. I have made them with Gnocchi, and just as a side by boiling them, sauteing them, and with bacon.
I boiled them for 15 minutes, rinsed them, and began sauteing chopped onion, chopped pork fat, mustard seeds; then added 1 tablespoon of mustard, chopped garlic clove, salt and pepper, and about a 1/4 cup beef stock. After that boils about 7 minutes or so, I added 1/4 cup heavy cream and reduce for 5 more minutes. The crunch mustard seeds, cream and onion are wonderful with the flavor of Fiddlehead Ferns!
Once again I marinated some Lamb 'Blade' Chops for three hours in a house made barbeque sauce of lime, garlic, cilantro, tomato puree, vinegar, brown sugar, and grilled them medium rare to compliment these tender greens.
In the past I have raved about 'Blade' cut lamb chops. We love lamb in any shape or form. Chops, primarily 'rib' or 'loin' are among the most popular fresh lamb cuts. Less expensive lamb chops are cut from the leg and shoulder. The blade chop is cut from the rib or back side of the blade section of the shoulder.
It is economical and flavorful and is a bit more tender than the arm chop. It is usually grilled, broiled, or pan-fried for the best results- buuuuut! and there is usually a but...if you ask for them to be cut at 1 inch or more, you can slow cook them, and they come out very tender and flavorful. Marinading them helps tenderize them by breaking down the meat, and the recipe has lime which will help with this.
I used my Chai marinade in the past on lamb, chicken and in chili- let them sit for an hour or so, then set the oven for 300 degrees and cook for 2 and half hours covered.
If you find blade chops packaged in your local market, they are usually much thinner and sold in family packs- great for the grill! Whole Foods will cut this style 'blade' lamb chop (1 inch thick or more) for you upon request, and at $6.99 a pound versus $19.99 a pound for a rack or rib chops.
Want the recipe for the Vidalia Onions and Haricot Verts? Go here
Did you know onions lower Cholesterol and heart disease? Did you know they grow almost anywhere you plant them? My yard in Dallas had wild garlic and onions. They came back every year. You could smell them on the breeze, and thank goodness they were way out front, or I might have had to put clothes pins on mine and the kids noses every spring.
Whole foods had these beautiful bunch of Vidalia bulbs. I love onions. I know lots of people do not like onions or garlic. Why? You either hate or love them right?
To me, they add a layer of flavor to a dish that surpasses nothing else.
Vidalia onions come from short day, Granex type onion seeds. There are long and short day onions, something I just learned about. These onion bulbs, or 'sets' as they are sold. They start off about the size of a quarter, and are torpedo shaped. They grow into round onions, but will not last as long as the long day onions grown from seeds. So you must use them almost as soon as you purchase them.
Slice these onions all the way up their stalks, like leeks or scallions. Slice and saute two of them in olive oil, and with a dab of butter. Add a dash salt. Then add some slow roasted grape tomatoes and the haricot verts. The onion flavor came through wonderfully!
This onion dish was prepared as a side to a friends sweet potato Kugal and my slow roasted 'Blade' chop- Chai marinated Lamb. Post coming...
Today is also my son's 24 birthday, and he is in Korea- as a full time student and tutor, living with his girlfriend who is a teacher. Something he has always wanted, to travel the world and work. I get to see him grow and learn about this new culture every week- from his point of view.
I am always reminded around or on Mother's Day how lucky I am to have a wonderful son. They grow up so fast... Happy Birthday Aaron!
I have to admit something...I am not as fond of pizza as I was in my youth.
Unless it has unique ingredients, and has a brick oven crisp to the crust. Thick doughy crust, tons of cheese, and so much sauce is just not my thing these days. Could it have been all the years of birthday parties at Chuck-the-Cheese (and I spelled this wrong on purpose). I know un-American of me right?
Take rolled out thin crust, add Tandoori sauce (many markets such as Whole Foods carry pre-made Tandoori in their Ethnic sections, or Asian markets sell powders) and yogurt, along with some shrimp and scallops- Heaven!
I know this is the third Tandoori post in the past months (and there are more), but I like it better than pasta sauce based dishes. Spicy flavors are number one on my favorite eats.
Since I sensitivity to wheat, the crust is gluten free; it comes out so thin, and I solve the taste problem (gluten free breads and crust are not so tasty) by brushing the crust in the beginning with homemade roasted garlic olive oil.
Now all I need is too build a brick oven in the back yard and I am all set!
I have been playing around with fresh herbs the past few weeks in some of my recipes. The sign of spring comes and we all want to plant herbs and flowers right? Then as always I wanted to plant a big summer sammie right into my lips way...
Keri @ S365 puts some good 'Sandwich' food and their history in our path, so I offered to do a few posts for her. One thing I have not had since childhood is a Sloppy Joe. My mom made them from the can with ground beef.
"I experiment with Flavors"...
Elizabeth Stelling, hails from her home state of Texas and has been involved in the food industry via institutional, fast food, B&B's, ethnic eateries and other restaurants since she was fourteen. Now living n New Jersey she has ran her own cafe, teaches culinary classes, runs a small boutique catering and staffing business, restaurant consulting for NJWBO, is a personal chef and shares her love of cooking with local, organic, healthy, and natural ingredients with the community.
Chef E is a member of Slow Food and the American Wine Society, Princeton, New Jersey. She has published written works of poetry and media pieces, as well as ran Open Mics in the Princeton, NJ area.
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