Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fiddleheads, Fiddleheads, Rolly Poly Fiddleheads.....

Yes my friends, it is that special time of year. It only lasts for 2 weeks, so enjoy them while they are here.

I am talking about the tiny shoots of the Ostrich fern frondly known as fiddleheads.

I like to keep my fiddlehead dishes simple, to showcase their delicate asparagus-y yet nutty flavor. Especially since I have been bereft of them for so long, and I only have enough to prepare 2 recipes.

Thus, for my first dish, I have chosen to modify my Creme d'Asperage soup to benefit from their delectable flavor. I had to reduce the Porcini Powder or it would have completely masked the flavor of the ferns, but I still needed it to provide and earth base for the ferns to spring from. Meyer Lemon was also a key ingredient, providing a brightness, but not as intensely bright as a regular lemon would.

Crème de Fiddlehead Soup

1 lb Fiddleheads
1 shallot, chopped (I use a small onion with asparagus)
2 TB unsalted butter
3 cups Chicken broth (I use 4 cups of stock with asparagus)
2 tsp Porcini Powder (I use 1 1/2 TB with asparagus)
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
juice of 1/2 a Meyer Lemon (I use regular Lemon with asparagus)

For Garnish:
Crème Fraîche
Reserved Fiddleheads
Meyer lemon slices

First you will have to boil the Fiddleheads for about 10 minutes (just to remove any possible toxins, in case you got a bad fern)

Meanwhile, sweat the shallot in 2 TB butter, until soft.

Drain the Fiddleheads, reserving 6 for garnish at the end.

and add the rest to the pot, tossing briefly to combine with the shallots.

Add the Chicken Stock and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add 2 tsp Porcini powder and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Strain the solids from the pot, placing them in the bowl of a food processor, and return the liquid to a simmer.

Puree the fiddleheads and the shallot as best you can. (fiddleheads are a little more fibrous than asparagus)

Press the resulting puree through a fine mesh sieve, into the post of simmering liquid.

Add Heavy Cream and keep warm over low heat (do not let it boil at this point)

Season with a pinch of salt and a little white pepper. If the soup seems a little thick go ahead and add up to 1 more cup of Chicken Stock.

Grab a Meyer Lemon and take 6 thin slices out of the middle for garnishing, this leaves about 1/4 of a lemon on each end.

Squeeze the juice from both the remaining ends into the soup just before plating. (that makes bout 1/2 a lemon)

Serve in wide flat bowls with a garnish of Crème Fraîche, a slice of Meyer Lemon and a reserved Fiddlehead.



Michele said...

That does look pretty! Prettier than fiddleheads usually look! lol I tried them last year and it satisfied my curiosity. You can have my share for the season! lol

Bob said...

Ok I admit it, I have a hard time getting over how fiddleheads look. Heh. I still keep meaning to try them, but no place around here ever has them.

Danielle said...

thats sounds wonderful! I don't even know where to find them here :(