‘gilded cod’, sage, chili, fennel flower; grilled zucchini, mint


I fiddled with this recipe a little each time I’ve brought it out. It was originally the late Kyle Phillips‘s terrific approach to cod, although it looks like I’ve only used it with hake until last night. I’ve finished it with with various toppings; this time I used fresh fennel flowers, and before that I played around a little more, adding a very special, incredibly delicious, not-really-hot-at-all new orange pepper variety to the pan before introducing the fish.

This one was better than ever, and for most of that I may be able to thank the heatless pepper.

The cod looked like this just before it was removed from the pan.


And these are some very special peppers. Haifa, of Norwich Meadows Farm, told me that she dries them to enjoy all year round; after my experience with this meal, I have to go back to get a stash to do the same.


  • one 15-ounce cod fillet from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, handed off to me at noon that day at their Union Square stand by the owner and fisherman, Phil Karlin himself, which I divided expertly into 2 equal portions before they were dredged in seasoned coarse stone-ground flour and dipped in a beaten egg from Millport Dairy, sautéed briefly (about 3 minutes on each side) in butter along with a few sage leaves from Stokes Farm that I had dried over the last weeks, and one finely-chopped small orange (heatless) Habanada pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm, drizzled with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, tranferred onto the plates, the juices remaining in the pan distributed over them, followed by a sprinkling fennel flowers from Rise & Root Farm
  • yellow zucchini (‘Goldbar zucchini’) from Sycamore Farms and dark green zucchini from Norwich Meadows Farm, sliced thickly, brushed (actually, massaged) with a combination of olive oil, finely-chopped German Hardneck garlic from Race Farm, salt, and pepper, then arranged on a platter, sprinkled with some chopped Julip mint from Keith’s Farm and peppermint from Stokes Farm, drizzled with a little olive oil
  • the wine was a California (Santa Ynez) white, Literally Chardonnay California 2013
  • the music was an album of music by Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, ‘Mobile for Shakespeare’

squid ink fettuccine, crabmeat, chili, parsley, lovage, lemon


I had planned to put together only a plain pasta dish last night, although it might have included this squid ink fettuccine already in the larder, but while I was at Whole Foods to pick up milk and juice, I remembered they carried some decent fresh crab meat, from Virginia (which is not really so far down the coast, and therefore almost local). The crab ended up describing the dinner.

I had prepared something fairly similar early in 2015, using a very simple recipe by Frank Camora, but with a very different pasta.

  • one seeded medium-hot cherry red pepper from Eatlay, heated gently in olive oil along with one two German Hardneck garlic cloves from Race Farm, all sliced thinly, until they started to sizzle, the heat turned up for a short time while a quarter cup of white wine was added, the pan removed from the heat and about one quarter of an 8-ounce container of crabmeat, Little River Brand, which I believe is from the Chesapeake Bay, purchased at Whole Food, added to and crushed in the oil, the pan returned to a very low heat where the contents begin to emulsify as a sauce; in the meantime half a pound of pasta (Al Dente Pasta Company artisanal squid ink fettuccine), which had been boiling for barely 3 minutes in a large pot of salted water, 3 cups or so of the water removed near the end, for adding to the mix later, the fettuccine drained and tossed with the sauce (which was removed from the heat just before), the remaining crabmeat then added and stirred in, along with the addition of enough pasta water to continue emulsifying the mix, and a generous amount of chopped parsley and lovage from Keith’s Farm sprinkled into it and garnishing the bowls when served
  • lemon quarters were served on the side, to be generously squeezed onto the pasta


There was a cheese course, with almost the very smallest amount of cheese. It included figs, and toast as well, the excuse being that the bread itself contained fruit.

  • a bit of ‘Slybro’ goat cheese from Consider Bardwell (there were 2 small pieces on each plate), fresh black, or ‘Brown Turkey’ figs from Eataly, and thin toasts from a loaf of organic whole wheat raisin bread from Whole Foods
  • the wine was an Italian (Friuli-Venezia) white, Scarpetta Frico Bianco delle Venezie 2014
  • the music was from the album, ‘Approaching Dutilleux‘, from the Riot Ensemble, and it included Arne Gieshoff’s wonderful, ‘Wucherung’ (2014), for solo oboe; as usual for this composer, it’s an absolutely fantastic piece: to me all musical instruments are alive, at the very least from the moment they are heard, but Rebecca Cass’s oboe sounds very much like a living, breathing, and very human being; even people who think they’re not interested in new music – or classical music – would likely be moved by this elegant, and, I suspect, deceivingly simple work, and not just while relaxing in good company after a good dinner

a savory sunday breakfast, raisin toast, a sacred symphony


After the luxury and pleasure of another Sunday breakfast like this one, I could almost be tempted to forgo making any meal that does not involve eggs in one form or another. I won’t, if only because I wouldn’t want dishes like this to ever become routine.

But these ‘breakfast’ forms are pretty easy to assemble, and they open themselves up to infinite variations; I’ve hardly even begun to go there.

This one was made non-routine, in an unanticipated way, when I picked up a neat-looking loaf of bread at Whole Foods a few days ago (I didn’t have the time to hunt further, as I normally would).  There was noting in its appearance behind the small cellophane window, or in the name on the label itself, that would have indicated it was a raisin bread.

It was a raisin bread. I almost never buy raisin bread. It makes a difference if your bread has raisins.

It did this time. It was actually a very interesting addition to what was already a pretty diverse company of flavors in this breakfast.

  • eggs and thick bacon from Millport Dairy Farm; sliced Japanese red scallions from Norwich Meadows Farm; one small mild Grenada yellow seasoning pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm (flavor of a habanero, a fraction of the heat); some rich nonpareil ‘Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter‘; a mix of 5 chopped herbs remaining from last night’s meal (parsley, julip mint, and lovage from Keith’s Farm; marjoram and rosemary from Stokes Farm); Maldon sea salt, freshly-ground ‘India Special Extra Bold’ Tellicherry peppercorns; a Middle-Eastern-style seasoning blend, ‘L’eKama‘ from NY Shuk; organic whole wheat raisin bread from Whole Foods, toasted only lightly; and micro basil from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • the music, this being a Sunday, was ‘sacred’ (nothing is sacred to us, but it’s a Sunday morning tradition here), one of Giovanni Gabrieli‘s early 17th-century Sacred Symphonies, the 50-minute-long, Symphoniae Sacrae II (1615). An aside: I may be wrong, but I believe the world would not hear another ‘symphony’ that long for almost 200 more years, or another choral symphony before then either

pepper-garlic-chili-scallion-copa-herb-micro basil frittata


These ‘French breakfast radishes’ weren’t the featured players last night, even if they were really good. They, or a handful of them, along with some breadsticks, were only an appetizer. They occupy their place because I decided they looked as good in the picture – even a bit theatrical – as they tasted, and I had already led these posts with an image of a frittata more often than that of a lone vegetable.

This is the frittata..


..this is what it looked like (apparently in the dark) after being taken from the broiler..


..this an image of the bin of sweet peppers which contributed to the meal..


..this the stack of Japanese scallions (mine is the one on the left).


I had to document the ingredients of the luscious (I think I’m hooked on that word for certain usages) pepper frittata with some quick notes even as I was putting it together: I was pretty much making it up as I went along, and couldn’t be sure I could trust my memory to such things.

  • a couple handfuls of small sweet particolored peppers from Stokes Farm, sautéed until beginning to caramelize, joined by slices of 2 cloves of ‘German Hardneck’ garlic from Race Farm, one finely-sliced red Anaheim pepper from Oak Grove Plantation, and 3 or 4 Japanese scallions, sliced, from Norwich Meadows Farm, all now sautéed until softened, after which an ounce of shredded slices of sweet coppa (capocollo) from Eataly were distributed over the top, everything covered with a whipped mix of 8 eggs from Millport Dairy Farm, salt, pepper, a couple tablespoons of water, and a few tablespoons of chopped herbs (parsley, julip mint, and lovage from Keith’s Farm; marjoram and rosemary from Stokes Farm), before pinches of French Basque piment d’Espellate were scattered on the surface, and slices of one medium yellow heriloom tomato from Eckerton Hill Farm arranged on top of everything, the pan allowed to cook on top of the stove until the egg at the outer edges had set, then finished in the broiler,for a very few minutes, or until the eggs were barely set and the surface had begun to brown, removed, served (initially one quarter of the frittata palced on each of the 2 plates, as seen in the picture above), there sprinkled with micro basil from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • the wine was a Chilean (Central Valley) red, Casillero del Diablo Carmenere 2014
  • the music was Per Norgård, Symphony No 3, Leif Segerstam conducting the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Radio Choir


Porgy, squash-coppa-chili-lime bed, micro scallion; greens


This is the meal I referred to in my previous post, the dinner I described as less than simple and less than minimal, at least in the context of my usual practice.

I’m no longer sure how I came upon the recipe. It may be that my mind started wandering after I had seen ‘Sea Robin’ on Blue Moon Seafood’s ‘available today’ board. The folks tweet a photo of it early each day they’re at a New York greenmarket. It helps me plan a meal (as long as I get there early enough, before my choice has been sold out). This week however they only had whole ‘Robins’. But I wasn’t anxious to work on the fish that hard, even if $1.50/lb is a mighty good price – for virtually anything!

Somehow I had already come across the ‘Cooking in Sens‘ site, where I noticed that the author’s recipe for Scorpion Fish (aka Sea Robin) included ingredients which I already had, which I was maybe anxious to use very soon, or which I just wanted to experience for the first time.

I was intrigued, and I decided I could work with ‘Scorpion Fish Fillets with Yellow Zucchini‘, using, as it turned out, a fish which is almost as low on the affordability scale as the one she had designated. The Porgy however had the good sense to come fully cleaned.

The result was a good meal, but sort of compromised by my feelings about its relative complexity; it was not really the kind of cooking I prefer, or the kind of dish either of us prefers, especially with a delicate fish.

It was what I could expect from a competent restaurant, and while that doesn’t sound like disapproval, and I don’t mean it to, the dish didn’t really seem to belong in our kitchen, where I try for an emphasis on simplicity and taking minimal steps, relying on the quality of the ingredients probably more than most cooks can, since I have both the time and the access to a magnificent local bounty.


I followed the recipe pretty closely, only substituting a few things, adding one or two.

  • 6 porgy fillets (2.5-oz each) from Blue Moon Fish Company; Japanese scallions from Norwich Meadows Farm instead of shallots; yellow ‘Goldbar’ zucchini from Sycamore Farms; sweet coppa (capocollo) from Eataly; Mexican limes from Trader Joe’s; ‘Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter‘ from Whole Foods; most of one small red Calabrian chili pepper from Campo Rosso Farm; a drizzle of Ponti ‘Glassa Gastronomica’ (a heavily-reduced balsamic vinegar glaze); and micro scallions from Two Guys from Woodbridge