Monday, April 14, 2008

Tastes like Spring

Alaskan Halibut from Kate's Fish, Blue Oyster Mushrooms from Killbuck Valley Mushrooms, Bacon from Country Gristmill (organic, Berkshire), and Ramps from another vendor at North Union's Shaker Square Farmers Market. I know I'm not the first person around Cleveland to pair ramps and halibut this season, and I can understand why. Despite today's quick snowfall, the ramps are definite proof that it is spring. Morel's are right around the corner.

- Halibut (or any fish)
- Blue Oyster Mushrooms (or any mushrooms)
- Ramps, cleaned (no substitute for the taste, but kale cooked with garlic could work well too)
- Bacon, chopped
- Butter
- Olive Oil
- Canola or other high heat vegetable oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Three pans

- Preheat oven to 425
- Melt a bunch of butter and very slowly saute seasoned mushrooms
- Once the mushrooms are cooked add some olive oil to taste and leave over a very low flame, stirring occasionally
- While mushrooms are cooking render the chopped bacon over moderately low heat
- Once bacon is crispy remove it to a paper towel and add ramps to the pan with some salt and pepper, turning the ramps around to coat with the rendered fat
- While ramps are slowly cooking heat up third pan over high heat and add equal parts butter and Canola (or other vegetable oil)
- Place seasoned halibut in the hot third pan, flesh side down
- Keep on eye on the ramps. I don't think it's too common to cook the stems and roots together, but these roots were thin and it worked well
- Once flesh side of the fish is well browned flip and place in hot oven until it's done
- While fish is finishing in the oven dry the ramps with a paper towel and plate
- Then plate the mushrooms, topping with the fully cooked fish
- Garnish with the crispy bacon

This was a great seasonal meal. Really simple and fresh. I'll likely make pesto with the rest of the ramps, which I'm keeping by storing them on the counter in a cup with the roots barely submerged in water and a plastic bag over stems. The ramps were a great surprise at the Farmers Market, although I think I was one of the few unsuspecting people there.

It's been a ramp filled weekend. Bar Cento is serving the stuff on pizza. It's great, but you may want to bring some gum for afterwards.


Kristen said...

Oh that looks wonderful and very spring like!

The CFT said...

Thanks Kristen. And today was sunny, so maybe winter really is over.

Anonymous said...

Man that fish looks really fresh. Kinda like you chefs getting excited about ramps, us fishmongers get excited when Halibut starts rolling in from those hard-working Alaskan Fisherman.

The CFT said...

That voice sounds familiar. And while I'm no chef, the fish was fresh and tasty, thanks not only to the Alaskans, but also to fishmongers like you. It’s worth getting excited about, and salmon is next.