This sandwich gives a nod to the ingredients that compose a French mountain dish called tartiflette. The two stars of the dish are an exquisite cave-aged French mountain cheese called Comté and a rather strong cheese called Reblochon. Don't worry if you don't like strong cheeses, though. Brie or Camembert make fine substitutions. Bacon and onions round out the traditional dish, and usually potatoes do, too. But here, the potatoes are part of the bread.
Fiddleheads are the young curled up sprout of an ostrich fern. When properly prepared and cooked, they are meaty, with a slight crunch, similar to asparagus with a unique flavor. The first thing you need to do when you get fiddleheads is to clean them well. Fill a large basin with water and soak them, then rub each fiddlehead to remove the brown leafy fronds. Drain and then spin to dry in a salad spinner. Think asparagus when you prepare them from here. You can steam them and toss them in butter. Sauté them with olive oil and garlic. You can also make many other preparations.
I make a light Camembert cheese sauce (don't think Alfredo!) and mix it with as many spring delectables as I can get my hands on. Fiddleheads are always front and center as long as they're available.
If you’re planning a special Valentine’s Day this Sunday, you are probably also excited that is followed by another holiday — President’s Day. For the perfect dish to celebrate this romantic three-day weekend, Chris Shea, the Executive Chef of The Wayfarer, has shared his go-to Valentine’s Day recipe for Baked Camembert with Port Wine Grapes.“My wife likes cheese and Champagne, so this is a dish I love to make for her,” says Shea. “We have actually never been out on Valentine’s Day together as we both work in the restaurant industry, but this recipe is great for a decadent, late-night treat on Valentine’s Day or as a special brunch the following morning. The cheese is best served with a toasted baguette — just slice, brush with olive oil, and pop in the oven until light golden brown — but my favorite trick is popping them on the Panini press."If, however, you’d rather leave the baking to the experts while you wine and dine on the town, Chef Shea is offering a special three-course prix fixe menu Sunday night at The Wayfarer for $88 that includes a complimentary Champagne toast upon arrival as well as a Gin Kissed Salmon with caviar, blush horseradish, and potato soufflé as an amuse.