The single dolphin fillet was a little smaller than that I’d usually prefer to get for the two of us, but while I was at the fisher’s stand I couldn’t figure out how to bring home more without messing up the aesthetic of the plate. Fortunately I had some wonderful vegetables to help fill in.
I also now realized I had two Mexican herbs, epazote (‘Mexican tea)’ and pericón (‘Mexican tarragon’), to help pull together a meal I ended up feeling had something of a subtle Mexican theme, even more so after the fact: These 2 herbs, plus the dolphin (‘dorado‘), an important fish in Mexico, and the inclusion of a Mexican lemon and some fresh habanada pepper (which was bred from the habañero, native to the Yucatan as well as elsewhere in Central America) didn’t make it a Mexican meal, but it was fun enjoying what they did make of familiar ingredients, and they sure helped make it a good meal.
The herbs appear below as they did in the Union Square Greenmarket, the pericón first, then the epazote (in the center).
- one 10.5-ounce-ounce dolphin fillet, without skin, from Pura Vida Seafood Company, dry-marinated for 45 minutes or so covered with more than half a tablespoon of zest from an organic Mexican lemon from Chelsea Whole Foods Market, half a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley from Phillips Farms, plus some local Long Island sea salt from P.E. & D.D. Seafood and freshly-ground black pepper, seared in a little Whole Foods Portuguese house olive oil inside a heavy copper skillet for about 3 minutes, then turned over and the other side seared for 3 more, the heat lowered and the pan loosely covered with a universal copper lid for a minute or two, and when that was removed, the fish joined by some very thinly sliced garlic scapes from Phillips Farms, only a portion from one pepper of chopped fresh habanada, (a little goes a long way, as with most seasoning peppers) and some chopped leaves of pericón (‘Mexican tarragon’) from Norwich Meadows Farm, which were together very briefly sautéed along with the fish before it was removed from the pan, followed by the scapes, the habanada, and the herb, and arranged on the plates, with the little bit of rich, savory pan juices poured over the top of the fish from the pan
- roughly 11 ounces of small ‘red potatoes’ from Lani’s Farm, harvested – and purchased – late in July, scrubbed, boiled unpeeled in heavily-salted water until barely cooked through, drained, dried in the still-warm large vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, halved, then rolled in a little olive oil, salt, black pepper, and some chopped fresh epazote from TransGenerational Farm, more of the herb sprinkled on top once the potatoes were arranged on the plates
- one small bunch of young, trimmed, washed, drained, and chopped Redbor kale from TransGenerational Farm, wilted with olive oil in which 2 plump, and still a bit juicy in August, ‘Nootka rose’ garlic cloves, also from TransGenerational Farm, had been allowed to heat until pungent, seasoned with salt, black pepper, a bit of crushed dried peperoncini Calabresi secchia from Buon Italia, and drizzled with a bit more olive oil
- the wine was a Spanish (Rioja) rosé, Muga Rosado 2018, from Philippe Wine and Spirits
- the music was an album of three very late eighteenth-century Scottish trios by the Czech/Austrian composer Leopold Anton Kozeluch