Fiddlehead, Bacon and Gouda Omelette

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Fiddlehead, Bacon and Gouda Omelette

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It’s Memorial Day weekend, and in Maine, there’s a very small culinary window that falls during this time: Fiddlehead season. For the flatlanders — those “from away” — fiddleheads are new sprouts of a plant called the Ostrich fern, and when harvested, look like what their name implies… the head of a violin.

They’re quite tasty, too. Flavor-wise, they fall somewhere between asparagus and spinach. When we’ve made them in the past, we’ve usually just steamed or sauteed them with a little bacon, salt, and pepper. But this weekend, Kelly came up with this pretty simple recipe idea, and we were very pleasantly surprised at how well it came out.

Ingredients:

  • Fiddleheads, cleaned. (A half pound or so. Enough to chop up and put in an omelette.)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 or 4 strips of bacon
  • A few pieces of gouda cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

1) Saute the fiddleheads in the olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes, until tender. Set aside. (Note: Cook thoroughly. Fiddleheads should never be eaten raw.)

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2) Cook bacon. Set aside. Be careful. Bacon should never be cooked while naked.

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3) Slice some of the gouda. Set aside. (Notice how I didn’t say, “Cut the cheese?”)

IMG_08864) Chop bacon and fiddleheads.

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5) Scramble your eggs and cook them as you would any other less-impressive omelette. Add bacon, fiddleheads and gouda. Season to taste.

IMG_0889[1]6) Fold over (Always the hardest step in omelette preparation). Wait till cheese melts (Also may be a challenge). Then enjoy!

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In true Stay Home and Eat form, this recipe came out way better than anything we could have ordered out. If you decide to try it, let us know how it came out. And hurry. Fiddlehead season is pretty short!

 


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Bean-Hole Baked Beans

Here’s an authentic Maine recipe for baked beans, in which we buried a pot of beans in a “bean-hole” among hot coals, and allowed them to bake in the ground overnight.  This was the first time we’ve ever tried making them, and we were very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, and how good they came out.  Brett’s parents came up from NY State to visit for the weekend, so they had a chance to taste the bean-hole-y goodness, also.

The Bean-Hole

We dug a hole (away from the house and other combustibles) about 2 1/2 feet deep, and about 3 feet across.  We then lined the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the hole with stones.  The size of the hole depends, obviously, on the size of the bean pot you plan to use.  Just make sure there’s enough room for the bean pot to fit comfortably in the hole, along with a good bed of hot coals.  We used a cast iron 5-quart Dutch Oven, which held 2 pounds of beans.

The Bean Recipe

2 pounds of beans (We used Jacob’s Cattle beans for this one.  Soldier, Great Northern, Navy, and Yellow Eye all work real well, also)

1/2 pound of butter, OR 12 oz. of salt pork

3 Tbsp. Minced onion

2 Tbsp. dry mustard

1 1/4 cup molasses

Enough boiling water to cover the beans.

Preparation & Cooking

Soak the beans in water for 8 hours, or overnight.

Build a wood fire in the bean hole, letting it burn until the bottom of the bean hole is covered with a bed of hot coals.  Should take about 2 hours.  (Optional: Add some charcoal briquettes if you’d like to “help it along.”)

Combine the beans with the other ingredients in a large cast-iron pot or Dutch Oven, and add enough boiling water to cover.  (We also covered the top of the pot with foil, to keep any dirt from spilling in during the process.)

When the bottom of the bean hole is sufficiently full of hot coals, shovel some of the coals out of the hole, and reserve in a (metal) wheelbarrow.  Nestle the bean pot in the bean hole among the remaining coals, and pull the coals around the sides.  Dump the reserved coals from the wheelbarrow over the top of the bean pot, then cover with dirt, and allow to cook overnight.

The heated rocks and hot coals will allow the beans to cook slowly in the ground, and covering everything with dirt will help the beans to retain moisture during cooking.

And that’s it!  Next morning, uncover, and take the bean pot out of the hole.

Enjoy!  If you decide to try ’em, we’d love to hear how they came out!

As always, comments and questions are welcome below, or by e-mailing us at stayhomeandeat@gmail.com

*Oven Baking

Prepare the beans as above, and bake in a conventional oven for 6 hours at 350 degrees.  During oven baking, some evaporation may occur, so periodically add enough water to keep beans covered.