salumi II, arugula; grilled mackerel, salsa; potatoes, lovage

Same salumi as yesterday, but different greens, bread.

  • thin slices of the second half of a delicious, 4-ounce Jacöterie ‘Italian Style Salami’ soppressata crafted with pasture raised pork from Walnut Hill Farm in Ancramdale, NY
  • arranged with well washed leaves of arugula from Norwich Meadows Farm dressed with a small amount of good Greek olive oil, Demi, from the Peloponnese (Laconia, Velles), a 23rd Street Greenmarket purchase late last summer, from John, a member of the family that grows the olives and makes the oil, also some local (Long Island waters) P.E. & D.D. Seafood sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a squeeze of organic California lemon from the Chelsea Whole Foods Market
  • the bread was half of a rosemary ‘epi’ (pain d’epi, aka ‘wheat stalk bread’), remarkably evocative of good homemade bread, that I had bought from Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse on Friday

The simply grilled small mackerel fillets were terrific, especially with the salsa I could accompany it with, thanks to the some small grape tomatoes sitting on the windowsill that I had bought several days earlier.

  • eight small Boston mackerel fillets (16 ounces) from Pura Vida Seafood, washed, dried, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with local sea salt from P.E. & D.D. Seafood and freshly-ground black pepper, pan grilled on a large, 2-burner cast iron grill pan over high heat for a total of about 5 minutes, skin side down first, turned over half way through, removed, arranged on the plates, where they were accompanied by/under a simple salsa, assembled just before grilling the mackerel, of 7 ounces of small halved heirloom golden cherry mid-December, mid-New Jersey farm tomatoes from Eckerton Hill Farm tossed into a small bowl with a teaspoon or more of rinsed and well drained Sicilian salted capers, half a tablespoon of juice from a Whole Foods Market organic California lemon, a pinch of sea salt, a bit of black pepper, the mackerel and the salsa garnished with micro scallion from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • twelve ounces or so of red thumb potatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm, scrubbed unpeeled, boiled, drained, dried inside the still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, halved, then rolled inside the pan with a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, tossed with lovage, again from Two Guys from Woodbridge

 

salumi, lettuce; gorgonzola/walnut panzerotto, radicchio

There was no fresh fish, and I hadn’t thought far enough ahead to arrange for a meat. I had assumed I would put together a meal using a dried pasta and something from the pretty broad ready choice of possible ingredients, but when it came close to dinner, I hadn’t come up with anything.

One of the prepared filled pastas I had recently brought home from Buon Italia was looking it would be delegated, and it was, becoming a very simple entrée.

So it was an accidental meal of sorts, but a very good one, especially with the delicious  artisanal sausage and beautiful local lettuce that became an antipasto.

  • thin slices of half of a delicious, 4-ounce Jacöterie ‘Italian Style Salami’ soppressata crafted with pasture raised pork from Walnut Hill Farm in Ancramdale, NY
  • arranged with leaves of red leaf buttercrunch lettuce from Fledging Crow Vegetables, the greens dressed with a small amount of good Greek olive oil, Demi, from the Peloponnese, Laconia, Velles, a purchase from John, a member of the family that makes it, at the 23rd Street Greenmarket, some local P.E. & D.D. Seafood sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a squeeze of organic California lemon from the Chelsea Whole Foods Market
  • thin slices from a loaf of Homadama bread (wheat, corn, water, maple syrup, salt, slaked lime) from Lost Bread Co.

the wine was an Italian (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) white, Pinot Bianco, Pierpaolo Pecorari 2016, from Astor Wines

 

sautéed sea bass; mushrooms, chili, lemon, parlsey; tardivo

The 4 or 5 rows of colors and textures look great here, but I decided to also include a low angle detail image.

 

Even under ordinary circumstances it’s difficult to resist the aesthetic and taste appeal of sea bass fillets, but when they’re on sale, as they were on Wednesday, it’s virtually impossible.

This is also a very easy fish to cook. In this case it was merely seasoned with salt and pepper and briefly sautéed in a combination of butter and oil. The mushrooms that accompanied it were prepared after the fish had been cooked, although using the same pan, with the juices that remained.

  • two 8-ounce Black Sea Bass fillets from American Seafood Company, washed, dried, seasoned on both sides with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, sautéed for 2 to 3 minutes over a fairly brisk flame with butter and a little olive oil inside a large, vintage thick-copper oval long-handled pan, skin side down, then turned over and the other side cooked for about the same length of time, removed when done and arranged on 2 warm plates (I had them inside the oven, set to its lowest temperature, but if left outside an oven they should at least be covered a little to retain their warmth),

then, with 2 tablespoons of butter added to the pan, 5 ounces of beautiful chestnut mushrooms from Gail’s Farm stall in the Union Square Greenmarket, cut up, mostly into 2, maybe 3 pieces each, sautéed, stirring, until lightly cooked, seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a pinch of a hickory smoked Jamaican Scotch bonnet pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm and my last fresh habanada pepper of the season, chopped, from Alewife Farm), a couple tablespoons of chopped parsley from Phillips Farms, and a tablespoon and a half of the juice of an organic California Whole Foods Market lemon, the mushrooms stirred some more, everything in the pan then spooned onto the plates to the side of the fish (the skin of the bass is too beautiful to cover up)

  • one medium head of tardivo, a very special chicory, a beautiful form of radicchio that originated in northern Italy, that I found in the stall of Willow Wisp Farm in the Union Square Greenmarket that same afternoon, prepared by washing it under cold running water, the moisture shaken off, cut into 4 segments lengthwise, and a V-cut made most of the way through the root ends of each, which allowed that dense part to cook more evenly with the remainder, the quarters arranged inside a large Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic oven pan cut side up, covered with a few thyme sprigs from Keith’s Farm, seasoned generously with salt and pepper and drizzled with a tablespoon of olive oil, baked inside a 400º oven for about 12 minutes, then turned over and cooked for some 8 minutes more, turned once more so a cut side is once again facing up, returned to the oven once again, but, this time for only a couple minutes or so, or until the stem ends were tender when pierced with a thin blunt metal pin (my all-purpose kitchen tester), removed from the oven [note: the tardivo can be served either hot or warm]
  • the plate was garnished with a row of micro nasturtium from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • the wine was an Italian (Lombardy) white, Lugana, Ca’ Lojera 2018, from Astor Wines
  • the music was an album of very early Mozart symphonies, Gottfried von der Goltz conducting the Freiburger Barockorchestra

 

[I had forgotten to photograph the mushrooms last Wednesday, so the image I used here is one I took last May, but of the same variety, and from the same farm, cropped differently]

pan roast chicken, shallot/chilis/wine/herb sauce; brassica

“A Chicken for Every Pot”

Hoover never said any such thing, although his enthusiastic supporters did include the phrase in in a 1928 campaign advertisement boasting that Republican prosperity had:

‘”..put the proverbial ‘chicken in every pot.’ And a car in every backyard, to boot.”

The Republican prosperity is history, but the attraction of chicken continues to this day, as does that of the car.

For what it’s worth, the chicken part of the phrase probably has its origins in seventeenth century France; Henry IV (le bon roi Henri) reputedly wished that each of his peasants would enjoy “a chicken in his pot every Sunday.” [encyclopedia.com]

While Barry and I don’t yearn for a car in our backyard (we live in the middle of Manhattan, so we don’t have to test our commitment to a small carbon footprint, and our backyard is a garden), but we do find a chicken, or parts of a chicken, in an occasional pot, and the occasion isn’t just a Sunday these days.

  • two fresh 8-ounce New York State chicken thighs from Cascun Farms, purchased at Eataly Flatiron (in a preparation partly inspired by Mark Bittman) seasoned on both sides with a local P.E. & D.D. Seafood sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, browned well in two tablespoons or so of Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ inside a medium size oval enameled high-sided cast iron pot, then covered with aluminum foil (it needn’t be a tight seal), then cooked over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature was 155-165 degrees, or the juices ran clear when pricked with a fork, which was roughly 15 minutes, transferred to a small oval platter and covered with the foil to keep warm, ideally the platter, or at least the plates, kept inside a warm oven while the sauce was completed, beginning with one shallot from Norwich Meadows Farm, 3 small seasoning peppers, one aji dulce (red) and 2 small Granada (yellow, with the flavor of a habanero, but a fraction of the heat), both from Eckerton Hill Farm were stirred in and allowed to soften a little before about a third of a cup of white wine [Matt Iaconis Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017] was added to the pot, the heat raised to medium high and the liquid boiled until reduced quite a bit, or until it was a of the consistency of a sauce, a generous amount of chopped winter savory from Stokes Farm added and stirred in, the sauce transferred to a glass sauce boat, from which some of it was poured over the chicken, which had now arranged on plates
  • the remaining greens from a ‘braising mix’ (young Brassicaceae: kale, collards, mustards, escarole, and dandelion) purchased from Keith’s Farm at the Union Square Greenmarket, mixed together with the leaves left from a bunch of broccoli raab from Lani’s Farm, barely wilted in a little olive oil in which several small rocambole garlic cloves, also from Keith’sFarm, had been heated until fragrant and beginning to soften, seasoned with sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper
  • slices from a small sunflower and flax seed sourdough peasant baguette from Hawthorne Valley Farm
  • the wine was a Portuguese (Dão), Niepoort Rotulo Tinto, Dão 2016, from Astor Wines
  • the music was Beethoven’s ‘Musik zu Carl Meisls Gelegenheitsfestspiel’, Claudio Abbado conducting the  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin Radio Chorus

 

[the image of the Republican political flier is from IowaCulture.gov]

crab cakes, green tomato salsa, boiled potato, micro radish

Because of what the severe weekend weather had done for local fishing, our regular Monday fishmonger, P.E. & D. D. Seafood, wasn’t at the Union Square Greenmarket that day. Since I had learned this from the list on the GrowNYC.org‎ app, and because I had plenty of vegetables on hand, I didn’t have to head for the square that day, but because I had a package of their wonderful crab cakes inside our freezer, we were still able to enjoy their bounty that evening.

  • two crab cakes from PE & DD Seafood (crab, egg, flour, red & green peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, milk, celery, and parsley) that I had been storing inside the freezer, defrosted before I began heating them above a low to medium flame, with a drizzle of olive oil, inside a small cast iron pan, 3 to 4 minutes to each side, served on a fresh salsa composed of 9 small green tomatoes from Keith’s Farm cut into thick slices, a finely chopped section of a small stalk of celery and most of one one small thinly sliced red onion, both from Norwich Meadows Farm, 2 different kinds and colors of finely chopped small sweet seasoning peppers, aji dulce and Granada, both from Eckerton Hill Farm, torn Thai mint from Lani’s Farm, all moistened with a little olive oil
  • roughly 12 ounces of la Ratte potatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm, boiled with a generous amount of salt until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried while inside the large, still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware glass pot in which they had cooked, a tablespoon or so of olive oil added, seasoned with local P.E. & D.D. sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, tossed with purple micro radish from Windfall Farms

There was a cheese course.