Tuesday, May 10

Fried Fiddleheads



I was very lucky to grow up in a small, well to do town at the foot of the White Mountains, surrounded by lakefront. Though my childhood home is no longer standing, I often drive up and bring the kids on a  drive around the dirt roads I grew up riding my bike on.

I think back to days and I am often in awe that I was allowed to do, like ride my bike without an adult, (without a helmet) miles down the country roads. Now that my oldest son is nine, he often battles me on boundaries and what he can or can not do alone. When I think back on those days in my childhood, I sometimes think maybe we have become too strict in parenting our children today? Maybe we don't give them enough freedom so they can learn and grow into responsible adults?

It's a debate I find myself having with my husband more and more as the kids age. We are entering a new stage in our parenting life, and I feel like I'm doing it blindly, and always second guessing my decisions.







During one of those 3 mile bike rides to school at 7am (I cringe thinking about my 3rd grade self doing this alone) I remember seeing a little old lady outside on the dirt road picking what looked to be baby ferns. I remember thinking that she must be completely insane.  Later that week when I was driving down curvy route 175 into Campton,  we saw an entire family out on the side of the road picking them as well.  I asked my mom what they were doing, and she told me that some people eat baby ferns,  they are called fiddleheads. We both agreed that the idea of that was absolutely disgusting.

If you recall, I wasn't exposed to many foods as a child. My parents are incredibly picky, so the idea of eating anything green growing in the wild, was so foreign to me. Today however I look forward to fiddlehead season. Though I don't forage them myself, I have a dad that enjoys picking them, and I can also purchase them at a couple local grocery stores.  So I can get my fix in, before the season quickly passes.

I think the idea of eating fiddleheads scares many, they are little on the weird looking side. But honestly you guys, they are not much different than asparagus in my opinion. They are great cooked a variety of ways. But if you are newbie to fiddleheads, and unsure if you will like them, try them fried. It's a great gateway in to any food really. If you coat something in flour and then give it a bath in hot oil, you know it will taste good.

These fried fiddleheads are great dipped in ketchup, aioli, ranch, drizzled with balsamic vinegar,  or enjoyed straight up. You can  even top salads with them, serve them as a side to hamburgers, chicken, grilled steak... the ideas are endless.


Fried Fiddleheads
Ingredients:

1 1/2-2 lbs fresh fiddleheads, washed well (they hold in dirt!) and patted dry
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like things)
1 tsp Louisiana hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (Or plain soy milk to make it vegan)
Vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

Fill a large heavy bottomed skillet with oil, about 1 inch up the sides. Heat over medium heat until the oil reaches about 360 degrees.

In a shallow dish mix flour, 1 tbs salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper together with a fork.

In a separate dish whisk buttermilk and hot sauce together.

Dredge the fiddle heads through the flour mixture, then through the buttermilk, and then through the flour again.

Fry in groups of 6-7 until golden and crispy.

Remove from oil and place on a paper bag or paper towels to drain the remaining grease.

Serve hot with your dip of choice. We like a simple garlic aioli.




23 comments:

  1. Carrie, I think these look great! Your pictures are beautiful, as always!

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  2. I don't think I learned what fiddleheads were until five or six years ago. I love that you learned early on about foraging and these wonderful spring vegetables.

    Also, can't go fried with frying anything... but especially fiddleheads! And definitely garlic aioli for these babies.

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  3. MMMMM....I can't wait to try these! I've never tried one so thanks of the encouragement!

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    Replies
    1. They are my favorite spring veggie.

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  4. My parents took me foraging for fiddleheads and mushrooms as a kid. I thought they were nuts and that I was the only one doing this, lol! Now, I realize they were pioneers:) your photos are lovely:)

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    1. We would go "mushroom" hunting with my Grandpa. My grandma would deep fry those too ;) it was the only way I'd eat those funky looking morells.

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    2. We called it mushroom hunting too! My dad had his book....to make sure he didn't pick ones that killed us! So many crazy stories from my childhood in the NW. If we only knew how much we could sell those mushrooms for! And how big Microsoft would become...haha!

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    3. I'm scared to look for them on my own. I'd probably eat something poisonous Hahaha

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  5. I have been intrigued into trying fiddleheads - and I haven't yet! That has to change!

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    Replies
    1. Oh you should! My guess is there is an abundunce of them in your neck of the woods!

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  6. We feel happy about this. Its also smart to try their finest video game titles with the free today to get the sense of fun that brings. Fresh Food HQ

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  7. Oh man - I, too, cringe at the things I was able to do alone. I rode my bike to the market and left my bike outside without a lock while I went in to get ice cream. Times are changing! I've still never cooked with fiddleheads, but these fried ones sound downright addicting!

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    Replies
    1. It's crazy when we stop to think about what our parents did too. Things are so different today!

      You should totally cook with Fiddleheads. They are one of my favorites!

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  8. These look so good, I want to reach right into that brown paper bag and start eating! Beautiful!

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  9. I've seen these but always stepped away from them, you make them looks so tasty!!!

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  10. This took me back. My parents used to make these when I was little - sort of hippie parents who somehow turned into yuppies by the mid 80s. Still, we loved Fiddleheads and your recipe looks perfect! I've never made them but now I will! Oh and who comments, "pour people's food"? Sorry, I couldn't resist. Why do people go out of their way to be rude - and show their lack of education in the process?! Crazy peeps!!!

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  11. Thanks a lot for reveal. keep continuous. Nice post!! want to reach right into that brown paper bag best ice maker and just start eating! haha

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