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fidgreens.jpgSpring is fiddlehead season and Scott Pohorelic, a chef instructor at SAIT, has paired this delicacy of young unfurled ferns with halibut.

Food Safety Measure for Fiddleheads, a Health Advisory from Health Canada.


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Seared Halibut with Fiddlehead Fricassee

4 pc Halibut filet (about 150g each)

8oz (225g) Green Romano beans from Gull Valley Greenhouse

10 oz (280g) Baby Potatoes

1 lb (454g) Fresh Fiddleheads

8 oz (225g) Shallots or Pearl Onions

4 slices (80g) Bacon

5 oz (150g) Brown Mushrooms

8 oz (225g) Oyster Mushrooms

2 oz (30ml) Dry White Whine

1 clove Garlic, sliced thin

4oz (120ml) Chicken Stock

2 Tbsp (30ml) Fresh Parsley, chopped

4 oz (120ml) Camelina oil (from Three Farmers)

Combine 1 cup of cold water with 1 Tbsp fine salt and 1 Tbsp sugar to make a simple brine. Stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Pour over the halibut portions to brine them. Leave them in the brine for 20-30 minutes in the fridge, then drain them and pat dry. Brining the halibut like this will make it juicier when cooked.

Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, drain and reserve. Cook the romano beans in boiling salted water for about three minutes. Plunge them into ice water to stop them from cooking. Drain and cut them into 1" lengths.

Peel the shallots and toss with a splash of the camelina oil, season and wrap in foil. Place in an oven at 375ºf and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.

Trim the ends off the fiddleheads and wash them very well under running water. Cook them in boiling water until fully cooked, about 12 minutes. Plunge them into cold water and rinse them very well again. Drain them well.

Chop the bacon and place in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the fat is rendered out and it's browned a little. Drain off the extra fat. Add the brown mushrooms, the oyster mushrooms and white wine. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are tender. Add the garlic and let it cook for a couple minutes. Add the chicken stock, the cooked potatoes, the beans, the roasted shallots and the fiddleheads. Let the whole mixture heat through and add the parley. Season if needed.

Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan (cast iron works best). Season the halibut pieces with salt and pepper. Add a splash of the camelina oil to the pan and place the halibut pieces in the pan with the whiter sides down. Let the fish brown a little and then place the whole pan in the oven at 375ºf without flipping the fish. When the halibut is just well done (when it flakes apart) remove it from the pan. Divide the fricassee up onto four plates and place a piece of halibut and each one. Drizzle each dish with the camelina oil.