Fiddle Me This?

Hello everyone! I am so glad to say HAPPY MAY! A more descriptive title would have been Marvelous May + {WIAW} Cooking with Spring Vegetables.
May will be Marvelous because:
  1. Yours truly was born on May 12th!
  2. Katie has Mantra May
  3. Janetha as Move More in May
  4. BLEND is 2 days away!
  5. Tis the season for flowers, strawberries, cherries, peaches, english peas, collard greens <3
It was just a week and half ago when I felt like my dreams were dashed and my future was flushed down the drain – I was dreading May coming. By this time next year, I was suppose to be starting my career as a nurse and moving with bb to start his residency. Now who knows how all that is going to play out.
I’ve stunned even myself about how positive I have stay with everything going on. I do have moments where I feel like a failure. I am scared,  unsure and really disappointed but instead of crawling into a whole of pity and depression I’ve been more lively and active than I ever have. I’m getting out more recently and making the best of staying here in NYC. It could be worse, right? Definitely! I just need to keep reminding myself of that.
Usually a home-body, somewhat shy, and occasionally lazy about getting out during the week. I’ve been proactive and really surprising myself with all the events I’ve been going to lately, dates with old friends, branching out and making new friends, and really been putting myself out there to make the most of a crappy situation.
I have some really exciting things going on, but I will wait to share until I have more details. But I promise it is some good stuff and right in line with dream and passion to help people find their path and healthy life.
I am celebrating What I Ate Wednesday with last Wednesday’s event, naturally eating was involved.

It was an Urban Girl Squad Cooking Spring Vegetable Demo with The Regal Vegan, Ella Nemcow. I’ve been a fan of hers and her amazing faux gras spread for some time. I jumped at the chance to learn from her. Not to mention, I’ve been receiving Urban Girl Squad emails for about a year now, but I’ve never attended an event. Carpe diem folks!
First off the space was incredible. It was at 196 Mercer in Soho.
IMG 1962
Drinks were included, and I even indulged in a rare for me glass of wine. I got a Malbec.
IMG 1971
I forgot how awesome a nice red wine is….but don’t worry this will not become a habit. I liked how much I appreciated it because it is something I only do on occasion. And I immediately made friends with the 3 girls around me, which was awesome. Dinner dates in the future!
I was basically sort of starstruck the entire time. I think I was smiling like a loon.
IMG 1972
IMG 1967
We learned how to cook some of my favorites english peas, fava beans, and of course asparagus.
IMG 1970
English peas with fried sage
IMG 1975
Fava Bean and Fennel Saute

But I was most excited for ramps and fiddlehead ferns! I’ve been wanting to get my hands on these but have no idea what to do with them. And these veggies aren’t cheap, because they are only in season for a short time.
Fiddlehead Ferns (aka Dr. Seuss’s Vegetable)
IMG 1974
Ramps – green leaves, purple stems. First spring produce to pop up.
IMG 1966
Here are some of the take aways from The Art of Cooking Spring Vegetables:
  • When picking out produce make sure they are heavy for their size. This means they are young – “and youth is everything”
  • Save the greens!
  • Cook anyway - veggies can all be seared, blanched, sautéd, grilled, steamed, etc. Whatever your heart desires.
  • But cook lightly - just until brightly colored, so they still have some bite and most of their nutrients.
  • Green is Good! = Vitamin K and fiber
  • When using a cast iron skillet - it needs to be super hot before adding veggies, oil is optional (but tasty), and you actually get iron mineral added to whatever you are cooking from the skillet.
  • Ramps can be used in place of onion/leeks/scallions – take 15 years to grow and only in season for a month!! Worth it for unique peppery, garlickly flavor.
  • Fava Beans – lots of work to enjoy them. Buttery with tons of protein. And high in iron and fiber. Good for dips as well as risotto dishes.
  • English peas - look for shells that are shiny, velvety and plump. Cook for only 30 seconds in unsalted water. Use everywhere – salads, pureed, curry dishes, frittata, risottos.
  • Asparagus – store them in damp paper towel for up to a few days and bigger stalks don’t taste as good. High in potassium,folic acid, vitamin B6, A and C. Cook anyway for 4 minutes. Save ends for stock.
  • Fennel - save greens and ends for stocks. Licorice in flavor.
  • Fiddlehead ferns – Another vitamin powerhouse (A, B2, B3, C) and we as good source of copper, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. After unraveling them, cook anyway for only 5-6 minutes. Similar to asparagus and green beans in texture – grassy, nutty taste.
  • Use Italian, first press, unfllter extra virgin olive oil.
  • Can cook any veg with just water, salt, olive oil.
  • Can keep stock ingredients in freeze until ready for use.
  • Buy a good german chef knife.

My favorite recipe from the evening:

Fiddlehead Fern Ragout

Recipe by Ella Nemcova

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fiddleheads
  • 4 shallots
  • 4 T EVOO
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 T chopped parsley
  • s + p
  • thyme for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a sauce pan bring 1.5 quarts of salted water to boil. Add fiddleheads and return to a boil to blanch.
  2. Transfer fiddleheads to ice bath and chill.
  3. Drain and pat dry, removing as much of the outer brown membrane as possible.
  4. In a skillet saute shallots in olive oil.
  5. Add thyme and garlic and continue to cook until soft
  6. Add ferns and cook for 2 minutes
  7. Add coconut milk, parsley, salt and pepper.
  8. Serve immediately.

 

Comments

  1. Happy WIAW! I saw fiddlehead at whole foods the other day. I would love to try them. Thanks for the information. :-)

  2. SO many good things happening!!

    YAY for your birthday coming up! I wish it was this weekend :)

    Happy day to you and see you tomorrow!!!! <3

  3. That class looks like so much fun. I love fiddleheads!

    What’s wrong with red wine being a habit?! LOL! :)

  4. You have such a positive attitude! The biggest struggle I have is being able to pick myself up when I am down and get back on track with healthy life habits. Thanks for sharing!

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  1. [...] when I took the Spring Veg Cooking Demo a few weeks ago?? Well, Tomorrow I’m getting the opportunity to help prep for a catering [...]

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