By Seth Fera-Schanes
Tis the season: Spring that is and fresh ingredients are in full supply. Everything from pheasant, turkey and goose eggs at the local farmers markets to fresh NYC honey (yes, there are apiaries in the city!)
It is also the much anticipated start to ramp season. Ramps, for the uninitiated, are wild leeks that grow along the east coast and up into Canada for a few weeks during Spring. They have a garlic, onion flavor and are extremely pungent.
The other thing you need to know about ramps in New York City is that people here go crazy over them. They line up at the market and purchase in bunches. At $3-$4 per bunch there is some real money behind these delicious plants.
I took my first bunch of ramps and put together a fritter similar to this delicious looking corn-jalapeno fritter on Epicurious. I replaced the scallions with ramps and used red chili peppers instead of jalapeno. They came out quite nice.
Continuing with my meal preparation, I took a freshly caught rainbow trout from South New Jersey and decided to fry it in my cast iron skillet (check out our other NJ Citrus Baked Striped Bass dish.)
The theme of the evening was ramps so I stuffed the trout with a few and then added a light dusting of flour before frying. When great fresh ingredients are available, I like to keep things simple. Focus on the fish and ramps and you can’t go wrong. After a few minutes cooking in the pan per side, I finished the fish in a 400 degree oven.
To plate, add 1-2 ramps and top with the trout and garnish with 2-3 fritters. Serve immediately and enjoy!