... A Sour Apple Tree

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Name:
Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ramps, bacon, and hush puppies

As is the case every early Spring, my relatives in and around Richwood hook me up with a metric shitload of freshly dug ramps to enjoy:


Since I was out of potatoes the other day, I decided to have ramps with bacon and hush puppies (in place of fried taters). First up, I had to clean the ramps:


After cutting off the roots and scrubbing the dirt and purple skin off of the ramps, I allowed them drain off some of the water from the wash, as they will be going into hot bacon fat in a few minutes:


I always chop my ramps into rough .75" to 1.25" strips. I try to avoid a uniform cut to maintain the rustic nature of the dish:


Meanwhile, I fried up some bacon in a skillet. When making ramps, try to use as good of a bacon as you can afford. I used to uncured bacon from the Kroger in Barboursville. The better the bacon, the better the fat, the better that ramps:


When the bacon was finished I allowed the meat to drain on a paper towel and I poured the excess fat into my obligatory back-of-stove bacon grease cup, leaving just enough in the skillet to cook the ramson:

Then it was time to cook the ramps. Note that I don't parboil them first. I find that any pre-cooking makes them turn out slimy, so they go straight into the hot fryin' pan:


They cook:

And brown:


Until they are fried to perfection:

After the ramps were finished, I tossed the bacon and the hush puppies (I had baked the frozen puppies beforehand) into the skillet to let them pick up some of the ramp essence:


I then got to eat 'em all up with a glass of Amber Bock:


It turned out quite well. The ramps were just how I like them, the bacon had just a touch of ramp flavor, and the pups proved to be a worthy substitution for the taters, especially when splashed with malt vinegar.

Check back over the next few weeks for more adventures in cooking with ramps.

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10 Comments:

Blogger The Film Geek said...

Awesome!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008  
Blogger moneytastesbad said...

That looks great!!!

I want some ramps!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008  
Blogger Blonde Goddess said...

Mmmmm....ramps. I have grown to love them since moving to West Virginia. In Maine around this time of year we used to gather fiddleheads and eat them. I'd explain but it would be easier for you to google it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008  
Blogger RedZeppelin said...

Ummm, how about NO. :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008  
Blogger All Click said...

I heard ramp breath is just rotten. True?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008  
Blogger Chris James said...

It can be a bit like a cross between garlic breath and sulfur.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008  
Blogger Buzzardbilly said...

Ramps, to me, are just another sign that molly moochers are on the way! God I love moochies.

In the 50's my uncle moved to Cleveland (in one of the big hillbilly migrations). He drove a bus in Cleveland. He noticed that the city had used ramps in their landscaping in the parks. He told some other hillbillies about it. He said before he knew it there were tales flying all over town about those crazy hillbillies picking the flowers in the parks to eat. I love that story.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008  
Blogger jennyville said...

Looks tasty... I need to try 'em out sometime!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love ramps. My dad just brought me some from WV (I've moved away) and the metric shit load comment has my husband and I laughing like crazy. I am going to share with a fellow West Virginian and an adventurous eater at work...but even after the three of us eating them I will have to freeze some.

Sunday, April 20, 2008  
Blogger Chris James said...

Check back here regularly this and next month for more of my attempts to cook ramps will all sorts of different foods.

Ramp spaghetti, bbq bacon ramp burgers, and salmon steaks with ramson are coming soon.

Sunday, April 20, 2008  

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