Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fiddleheads and Fishing

UPDATE to our last post...! We made a trek up to Northern Maine to visit the Boston Chef parents over Memorial Day Weekend, and we decided to do some fishing along the Aroostook River. Lo and behold, what was growing wild along the banks of the river, but... fiddleheads!

We didn't catch much more than some little guys, but we had fun out there!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fiddleheads on the Roof

...or should I say fiddleheads in my belly? That's where they'd all end up even if I had 20 lbs of them. Such a treat since they're only in season for a few short weeks every spring. I actually had been wondering why I hadn't seen any around when my father who lives in Maine informed me that the season was running about 3 weeks behind due to late snow in northern Maine. You see fiddleheads can't be cultivated, although I'm sure some farmers have tried. They come to the consumer via foragers, much like certain mushrooms do. They generally grow on steep riverbanks (or at least that's where I used to pick them) in late April and early May. They are the young coiled version of a Ostrich Fern, and have a sort of earthy mushroomy asparagus taste to them. Their preparation is simple -- soak in some water to remove some of the scales, then blanch for 2 minutes and dump out the water thereby removing more of the scales. Bring some fresh water up to a boil and then add the fids for 13-15 minutes more. Serve warm tossed in some butter and salt. That's it!

We served ours up with some roasted sweet potatoes and pork tips...super yummy, and I already can't wait until next year!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Chicken Enchiladas with Cuke and Corn Salsa

Same delicious Enchilada with Mole Sauce and Cuke and Corn Salsa recipe that we made last month - with the same delicious results - but this time we ended up playing around with our new camera with video and our video editing software!

So, without further ado... our premiere Boston Chef video!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Roasted Summer Squash with Tomatoes

I love those quick and easy sidedishes that take maybe 5 minutes to prep, and then all you do is pop it in the oven and forget about it. M was grilling on the deck, so after I put this dish in the oven, I could join him and enjoy the sites and smells of spring with a glass of chardonnay.

I sliced up 3 good sized summer squash into half moons, and threw those into a baking dish along with 3 diced plum tomatoes, a couple cloves of chopped garlic, a handful of chopped parsley (if I would have had fresh thyme, that would have been my first choice), some olive oil and some balsamic vinegar (S&P too!). I tossed it all together and put it into a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Halfway through, I took it out for a little stir and put it right back in.

This is a nice light summer dish, and you could easily substitute zucchini and basil instead of the yellow squash with parsley!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Three Bean Salad

Unbeknownst to me, M LOVES 3 bean salad! (Ed note: we've been together for 7.5 years) And why wouldn’t he... it’s flavorful, healthy and full of protein. My only problem with it is that recipes for 3 bean salad call for lots of sugar, but I figured I could make my own version of this classic using a little sugar and a little Splenda and still get a delicious salad out of the deal.

1 can of red kidney beans and 1 can of garbanzo beans were rinsed and added to 1 can of green and wax beans. I thinly sliced (super thin!) some red onion – about a quarter of the onion, and also threw in some finely diced celery for some added crunch. I used 1 rib, but next time, I may use 2 and a bit more onion. I also chopped up about a handful of flat-leaf parsley and added that to the salad as well.

On to the dressing. I really just eyeballed everything, but here are some approximates…1 tbs sugar, 3 tbs Splenda, 1 or 1.5 cups cider vinegar, 1 tsp celery seed, 1 tsp dill weed, a few pinches of salt and some cracked peppercorn. Mix this up with a couple splashes EVOO and throw over the salad to marinate. Although it can be eaten right away, much better after a couple hours in the fridge, and even super tastier overnight!

We had ours with some grilled corn and marinated steak tips - a great summer dinner!