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Fiddlehead Ferns and Lake Erie Perch with Hollandaise Sauce

22 May

This was an elegant brunch dish with flavors that balanced beautifully against one another.  The fiddlehead ferns are indescribably delicate with a verdant crunch that is to die for.  Their unique shape sopped up the citrus flavor of the hollandaise sauce without becoming overpowered by it.  The fish added a silken foil to the slight bite of the fiddlehead ferns.  Really, I do not have enough good things to say about this dish and how well everything worked together.  It was also almost ridiculously easy.  Everything comes together all at once, so there is a bit of a scramble, but nothing is particularly challenging.

Fiddlehead Ferns and Lake Erie Perch with Hollandaise Sauce

Fiddlehead Ferns:

1/4 lb. fiddlehead ferns, cleaned

1 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. Brummel & Brown

1 tbs. fresh thyme

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Bring  a large pot of salted water a rolling boil.  Add fiddlehead ferns and blanch 1-2 minutes.  Transfer immediately to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.  Drain.

Heat olive oil and Brummel & Brown in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Add fiddlehead ferns and season with kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and thyme.  Sauté 4 minutes until tender-crisp.  Serve ferns and perch (below) over hollandaise sauce (see below).

Lake Erie Perch:

1/4 lb. Lake Erie perch fillets, skin side scored

1 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. Brummel & Brown

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Season fish with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat olive oil and Brummel & Brown over medium-high heat.  Add fish and sauté 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through.

Hollandaise Sauce:

From Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

3 egg yolks

1/4 tsp. salt

Pinch of pepper

1-2 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 stick unsalted butter

Place egg yolks, seasonings, and 1 tbs. lemon juice in a food processor.  Cut the butter into small pieces and heat it to foaming hot in a small saucepan.  Blend egg yolk mixture at top speed for two seconds.  While blending, start pouring in hot butter in a thin stream of droplets.  When about 2/3 of butter has gone into sauce, the consistency will be a thick cream.  Do not add the milky residue at the bottom of the butter pan.  Taste sauce and add remaining lemon juice, salt, or pepper as necessary.

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