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TROUT RECIPE THAT'S A SPRINGTIIME FEAST


Last spring, my son, aka THE CHEF, and I hunted morels with success. Since for fishermen, spring means trout, why not combine the fruits of spring-

TROUT WITH MORELS, FIDDLEHEADS AND WILD ONIONS!

Ingredients:

1/2 pound fiddleheads

salt and pepper

2 pounds trout fillets ( 1 small trout per person)

1/4 cup unsalted butter (divided)

1 lb. morels (sliced into rings) No morels? use any mushroom you prefer

1/2 pound ramps (or scallions)

1/2 pound fiddleheads

3 garlic cloves (minced)

4 slices bacon, ideally thick cut

1 cup chicken stock

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup sorrel (cut into a chiffonade, optional)

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme

Juice of a lemon

Violets for garnish


Instructions:

1. Before you start cooking, the Fiddleheads should be stirred gently in a bowl of water to loosen any dirt that may be hiding between the fronds (soak much like you would leafy greens). Trim away any brown spots,

2. In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until crispy. Remove and cut into batons and set aside.

3. Turn the oven to "warm" and set a wire rack over a baking sheet inside; this will be to keep the trout warm.

4. While the bacon is cooking, lightly salt/pepper the trout When the bacon is done, turn the heat in the pan to medium- medium high. When temperature is reached, saute' the trout in batches until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes per side (optional: if preferred you can lightly flour or cornmeal the fillets) You will likely need to lower the heat at some point- don't burn or overcook.

5. When they're done, carefully move the fillets to the rack in the oven. I do this with two spatulas.

6. Put the ramps/scallions in the frying pan and saute' for a couple minutes, until they soften and begin to brown a little. Add the mushrooms and toss to combine. Saute' until they begin to give up their water, about 3 minutes, and then jack the heat up to high. Let everything sit for a minute to get a bit of a crust, then toss to combine.

6. Blanch the Fiddleheads in boiling water, and then submerge in a cold water bath. Sautee the blanched fiddleheads with a good amount of fresh garlic and olive oil, then salt to taste. The prep of the fiddleheads is key - if not blanched long enough they will be bitter. If you saute' too long, you get mealy fiddleheads. This part of the dish is more art than science.

7. Add the fiddleheads, the bacon, parsley and thyme to the mushrooms and ramps and toss to combine. Serve this as a bed for the trout and squeeze some lemon over everything and garnish with the violets right as you serve.

Bon Appetite and Live The Passion!