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Fiddlewhats?

Since we received fiddleheads in our weekly organics delivery, we needed to figure out what on earth to do with them.. I mean, they are pretty and everything but we had no idea how to cook them etc…

Googling around, I was greeted with warnings a go-go about how to cook them properly since they can cause what sounds very much like food poisoning. I found this recipe for Fiddlehead Cashew Stir Fry which I thought sounded great. Since I am not so great about following recipes, I based tonight’s dinner on that one and here’s how it went.

Shrimp and Fiddlehead Cashew Stirfry

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh fiddleheads
1 cup broccoli
1 cup chopped brown mushrooms
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 Tbsp peanut oil oil
1 Tbsp fresh ground ginger root
Garlic & soy sauce to taste
about 20-25 black tiger shrimp – thawed and peeled

Wash and prepare the fiddleheads by removing the fuzzy fronds and cutting off any dry ends (geez, this was a right pain in the butt – it took me about 10 minutes to clean half the fiddleheads. Fiddly work indeed – haha!).


(see the icky brown bits?)


and here they are cleaned up (well I now see some brown bits I missed – ooops!)

Steam the fiddleheads (I let them steam for about 15 minutes – probably a tad too long but I was so freaked out about the toxicity warnings…)


(here they are in their steamer)


and eeeeeeeew – here is the water that came out of the steamer! Yikes!


While I was cooking I had a glass of this ratty looking bottle I found in the fridge that Neil had brought back from a camp weekend. The bottle looks like it spent the weekend in an ice bath but I spied the words “Sauvignon Blanc” on the back and it went nicely with the prep time and the dish!

Prepare other vegetables and ginger.
Preheat oil in sautée pan on medium-high heat.
Stir-fry the broccoli and mushrooms til they are still a little crunchy.
Add in the garlic and grated ginger, plus the cashews. Combine well.
Add the shrimp and cook til they are pink.
At the last minute add the fiddleheads otherwise they will go too soggy (especially if you have cooked them for a really long time in the steamer as the health warnings tell you to!)

Veggies and fiddleheads…

plus shrimp…. Bon appétit!

Verdict?

The fiddleheads were kind of woody by themselves, just out of the steamer. Masked by the garlic, ginger and soy, they were edible. Not convinced, foodies, not convinced!

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4 Responses to Fiddlewhats?

  1. Neil C. Phillips June 3, 2009 at 11:37 #

    Enjoyed the dish, but with ginger, soy, cashews and beautiful tiger prawns – what's not to like?

    Alas the fiddleheads were vastly overcooked, I think: they became a rather non-distinctive green. Tasty, but ho-hum.

    I think the woodsy-ness – and possibly touch of toxins – might have made for a more vibrant dish.

    But that might just be my opinion as the wine (a nice Oz number, btw…) was almost depleted by the time I arrived home. ;-)

  2. The Best Family June 3, 2009 at 12:13 #

    very interesting post! i've always wondered about fiddleheads and have never had the opportunity to try them. the stir-fry recipe sounds delish, with or without the ferns.

  3. Mary-Laure June 3, 2009 at 21:50 #

    Dare I confess I had never heard of fiddleheads? I wonder what they taste like.

  4. mardi June 4, 2009 at 02:26 #

    They tasted woody – kind of like asparagus but earthier.

    Il faut dire que je les ai jamais vus en France lorsque j'y habitais… Ni en Angleterre, ni en Australie for that matter Je sais que c'est assez rare et on peut les acheter seulement aux mois de mai et juin ici à l'Ontario, alors c'est peut-être un truc Canadien…?

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