I can see I’m going to have to become one of those people who photographs my food! That really would be the best accompaniment to this weekly page, and give me points of reference to recount whatever awsm Nomz I’ve had.
However, for this week, we’re just gonna hafta wing it. New Blogger Blues, bear with me. My inspirations this week came mostly from Nature and The Great Outdoors, as a jaunt to a natural area and a bit of leftover fruit found their way into my menu’s.
All of these recipes are KETO (ketogenic diet) – friendly!
Natural Noms by The Susquehanna Lock: Finding Fiddleheads:
Last Saturday, the Guy and I spent a glorious Spring day on a drive thru PA Dutch country (horse-drawn carts!) to the Susquehanna River Dam and Lock by Rt372. We explored along the water’s edge upriver of the Dam and then wandered up into the woods beside a creek to some waterfalls.
Along that path, I spied some ferns that looked verymuch like fiddlehead ferns, which I find a delicious Springtime treat: they are tender and taste very “green,” sorta in the way asparagus, broccoli and spinach taste “green,” but sweeter. My aunt was from the Canadian Maritimes and turned us on to them. But not being certain that the local plants were indeed edible, I erred on the side of caution and left them behind (be smart! never eat anything unless you are absolutely certain that it’s not harmful!).
To prepare fiddlehead ferns, rinse them in cool water and clean them to remove any random leaves, the tougher ends of stems and/or any bits gone soft and brown. You can toss them in a wee bit of olive oil first (with a bit of mined garlic if you’re really feelin’ it), then sautee very lightly, or just lightly steam them for about 5 minutes, so they are tender but still have some texture/crispness. Serve them with some melted butter drizzled over, a sprinkle of oregano, and/or a squeeze of lemon juice for POP.
For fun Fiddlehead Sliders, make your mini-burgers as usual, and when they’re cooked, top them with a bit of Gruyere or a mix of Mozzarella and Parmesan (you want your cheese to be a mix of creamy/buttery sweet, with just a bit of acid/tartness). Lay a nice big cooked Fiddlehead (or a grouping of smaller ones) on top and serve.
AN awsm MEAL IDEA!
Fiddlehead Sliders with a side of Jicama Fries tossed in parmesan “shaky cheese.”
Fiddleheads also love to be paired with some cooked onions, and the taste of thyme works well with them —
AN awsm MEAL IDEA!
A bit of chicken, cooked with lemon, onion and thyme, paired with a side dish of fiddlehead Ferns tossed in melted butter and topped with parmesan shavings! Maybe some some lemon sorbet or some lemon shortbread cookies for dessert…
A Tasty Discovery: Wild Onion Grass
Continuing along, we went back to the riverside a bit down-dam, where we explored the remains of an old limestone kiln, and the abandoned ruins of Lock 12. By this time, yours truly was getting a bit peckish. Back in the car we had brought a couple of Wegman’s mozzarella/string cheese sticks and large Hormel pepperoni slices from Dollar Tree —
FUTURE POST IDEAs:
One of these days, you will be reading a Post from me about the Delights of Dining Dollar Tree; wherein ingredients from that venerable venue of value vittles are transformed into delicious delights! It’s amazing what awsm things can be devised from such humble Dollar Tree beginnings!
— for snacking, but as we walked along, I saw some robust-looking wild onion plants. The grassy leaves were thick and deep green, and I reached down to grab a good handful. Himself (who had never been a Scout) looked at me a bit sideways as I tugged up a gorgeous bundle of bulbs, brushed the dirt off one particularly luscious wild onion-bulb and bit into it, yumming with delight at the sharp, garlic-onion flavor.
I launched into tales of Girl Scout camping in back in the day; hiking the Appalachian Trail and learning what plants could be eaten to survive in the wild. To my chagrin, I don’t remember all that much beyond wild onions, dandelions, blueberries and blackberries… But he was intrigued and tried too, surprised by the tart, fresh flavor of the freshly-picked plants.
We picked a BIG handful of wild onions and enjoyed a few more with our cheese-and-pepperoni upon getting back to the car.
When we got home, the wild onions were thoroughly cleaned. Then I cut the bulbs off and submerged them in a tupperware full of olive oil. The Wild-Onion Infused Olive Oil that resulted (about 8oz to a dozen-or-so wild onion bulbs) has been amazing! SO flavorful! I chopped the stems from the whites near the bulb, partway up the green leaves/stems where they were plump with natural goodness, and those were tupperware’d to use (like chives or chopped Scallions — which aren’t much more than domesticated wild onion grass) as accent toppings on foods this week.
And Now: awsm Apple-Bacon Galette!
What could be a better, sweeter finish than a rich, sweet, surprising — and yes, KETO-friendly — dessert? There were 2 smallish Granny Smith apples left over from something-or-other during the last couple of weeks. We’re careful about fruits like apples, because they are at the high end of Keto acceptability, but in moderate per-serving amounts, they’re just plain delicious (see what I did there? delicious? apples?)
A Galette is a chi-chi name for what is essentially an open-faced pie, a peasant’s quick-and-dirty version of the more polished pastries featuring latticework tops with crimped and fluted edges. In a galette, the crust is merely folded-up around the edges of the filling, but there is no shortcut on the flavor!
First up, the Crust: I started with “3-2-1” bread/crust, a staple in my Keto repertoire. This stuff is incredible: a downside of Keto is missing bready things like pizza crusts, pie crusts, garlic bread, and so on. 3-2-1 is a delicious, filling replacement that is incredibly versatile.
FUTURE POST IDEAs
“3-2-1” Bread/Crust will be the subject of a future posts, wherein I gather a collection of variations on the basic 3-2-1 recipe, to create final products that range from richly savory to swooningly sweet, and that can be used in Italian, Tex-Mex and Mediterranean cuisines to name a few — I’ll share how 3-2-1 lends itself to sandwiches, salads, breadsticks and breakfast dishes, and even to decadent desserts like this one!
It’s as easy as 3-2-1, which for this batch meant…
- THREE: 2 cups of shredded mozzarella plus 1 cup of shredded cheddar for a total of 3 cups of cheese — this was blended and melted in the microwave
- TWO: 2eggs, stirred. To customize my 3-2-1 batch for this recipe, I added about 2 tsp Vanilla (I am very generous with vanilla), 1/2 tsp each of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger, and 1/4 tsp Clove. Once blended, I added a full/generous cup of Splenda, all stirred together (it gets kinda fluffy and smells Vanillicious)
- ONE: 1 cup of Almond Flour
I wear latex gloves to blend all ingredients to a smooth consistency, and to spread the dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. It will cover an entire cookie sheet, 1/4-1/2″ thick. This cooks for about 10minutes at 350degrees, until it begins to turn a little golden, but the dough is still fairly soft and shape-able.
Meanwhile, the Apple-Bacon filling: I threw 4 slices of bacon in to microwave til they were about half-cooked. I then chopped-up 2 medium Granny Smith apples, and tossed the bits in a bowl, gave ’em a squeeze of lemon juice (because it keeps them from browning and makes their flavor POP). In a separate bowl I again blended a beaten egg with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove, as well as a hearty amount of Splenda (the aforementioned proportions all over again) . This was added to the chopped apples and I used kitchen shears to cut the bacon in 12inch pieces, also blended-in.
I put the filling in the center of the pre-cooked crust, and spread it out, then folded up the edges of the crust and used toothpicks to hold them in place. The galette was baked at 350degrees for about 35minutes until finshed.
AN awsm MEAL IDEA!
I’ve made a Savory version of the Apple Galette that knocks the socks off all who’ve tried it, and that can stand in as a vegetarian main course. For the crust, the proportions of cheddar-and-mozzarella are 50%-50%, and into the beaten egg is added minced garlic, and herbes de Provence. The apples are blended with beaten egg to which has been added (again) garlic and herbes de Provence with some extra Thyme. As well, some sliced onions are added to the filling. This cooks into a final galette that tastes surprisingly robust, filling and even “meaty,” a savory delight!