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Fiddleheads…end of the season!

I think it’s officially over. Fiddlehead season, that is! I went to the Farmer’s market last Friday and bought my last batch of fiddleheads until next year. My family has only recently been enamored with this early Spring delicacy. We tried them many, many years ago and although our friends assured us they were delicious, we didn’t agree. We had just moved to Maine and figured it was an acquired taste. My husband thought they tasted like grass! Then, last year, I tried them again – only I added a bit more flavor this time by using garlic and balsamic vinegar. We now love these little green ferns.

According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #4198, Facts on Fiddleheads, they are the young coiled fronds of the ostrich fern that grow on the banks of rivers, streams and brooks in late April, May and early June. It is advised not to eat them raw. They are best when fresh, but can also be frozen or pickled to preserve them for later enjoyment. Maybe next year, I’ll try a different way to prepare them and fall in love all over again…

I know they grow in New England, but I’d love to hear where else you can find them. Please leave me a comment and we can track them everywhere! Enjoy!

Saute’ed Fiddleheads

3 cups fresh fern fiddleheads
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt/pepper to taste

Clean fiddleheads thoroughly. Rinse well and remove brown, papery fronds. Trim ends. In a large saute’ pan over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. Add garlic and saute’ briefly. Add cleaned fiddleheads and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve warm. Makes 3-4 servings.


 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Side Dishes

 

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Mmmm….Upside-down Cranberry Cake!

Fresh out of the oven!

First, I had a funny coincidence happen last night! So, I’ve just started this blog 4 days ago, right? Last night, as I was flipping through the TV channels, guess what movie was on – “Julie & Julia“! I’m not saying I expect my blog to do anything like hers, but I do think it was a message from the Universe that this might be a good thing for me. That I should be creative, and just have fun with this blog. I’m not going to worry about how many comments I get, or even how many views – I’m going to write recipes and share tips because I love to cook and I enjoy sharing my passion. Just my two cents…

Now, on to the food…  This is the season for cranberries. It means Thanksgiving is right around the corner – I can’t wait! This year I did not pick the cranberries myself as I have done in the past, but I still found a local farm that sells them and I stocked up. The great thing about cranberries is they freeze so well. Buy a couple extra bags and just pop them in the freezer – they will last up to a year that way and still be great in recipes. If you want to pick your own, the season is from around the end of September to the end of October, depending on the crop. I’m sure you’ve seen the Ocean Spray commercials on TV where the men are standing in knee-deep water – that’s because there are two types of bogs – wet and dry. Woodward Cranberry Farm in Albany, Maine (http://www.woodwardcranberryfarm.net/) has organic cranberries in a dry bog. I picked there a few years ago and it was a lot of fun! This year I bought my berries at Ricker Hill Orchards in Turner, Maine (http://www.rickerhill.com/). Either way, I still supported some local farmers.

The recipe I have for today is both delicious and beautiful. The bright red berries are festive and they take center stage in this dessert! Enjoy…

Upside-down Cranberry Cake

4 tablespoons butter

½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 cups cranberries, fresh or thawed frozen

1 egg

2/3 cup sugar

½ cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup yogurt, plain or vanilla

1½ cups Pamela’s Gluten-free/Wheat-free Baking & Pancake Mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan very well. Combine the butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan and melt over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Pour this glaze into the cake pan and spread evenly. Arrange the cranberries evenly on top of the glaze. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the egg and the sugar until well mixed. Slowly add the oil and vanilla and beat until blended. Gently mix in the yogurt. Add the baking mix and beat until blended well. Pour the batter over the cranberries, spreading it evenly in the pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the pan cool for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the outer edge of the cake. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and carefully lift off the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream. Makes 6-8 servings.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Desserts

 

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