We will call this meal our Labor Day weekend American red meat indulgence. These were among the tastiest and best-butchered and trimmed lamb chops either of us can remember ever having. The Ottomanelli brothers on Bleecker Street are a priceless treasure. I bought four of them yesterday, and put two of them in the freezer for another day.
- extraordinarily tasty and juicy pan-grilled loin lamb chops (each one, and here each serving, 6 1/2 ounces) from Ottomanelli & Sons, finished with a salsa verde of lovage, capers, garlic, parsley stems, arugula and olive oil
- pan-grilled Paulina plum tomatoes from Eckerton Hill Farm, brushed with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar
- very tender haricots verts (they started out some green and some purple) from Berried Treasures, blanched and then reheated with oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
- a traditional northern Italian red, from Piedmont, Tenuta la Pergola Monferrato Rosso 2011, blended by Kermit Lynch
This mackerel fillet was marinated, flesh side down, for thirty minutes in a mixture of wine vinegar and water, parsley stalks, thinly-sliced red onion and lemon, and a tablespoon of sugar, heated and cooled (it was gorgeous; I wish it could have come to the table!). The mackerel was then removed from the marinade, patted dry, brushed with olive oil then pan grilled over a high flame. The flavor was great, but I still felt the fish was missing something in its taste (and appearance), even though the recipe asked for nothing more. I’m thinking at least chopped parsley, or another herb, sprinkled on top, or maybe something tomato. A spot of something red on that plate would certainly have made it more exciting.
While I’m critiquing the presentation, I should definitely have sliced those wonderful, sweet Désirée tomatoes into halves before bringing them to the table, sprinkling the lovage on then.
- fillets of Spanish mackerel from Blue Moon Fish Company, marinated as described above, then pan-grilled and finished with a drizzle of lemon, then oil
- boiled ‘new’ Désirée potatoes from Berried Treasures, rolled with butter and oil, finished with chopped lovage from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm
- baby Italian arugula from Hawthorne Valley Farm, simply dressed with oil, lemon, salt and pepper, in spite of its appearance here
- a Spanish rosé, Rioja Muga Rosato 2013
It’s what we call a picnic; it’s our at-home hot weather meal of last resort (although because they’re such a pleasure, it’s sometimes very much a first resort, independent of an evening’s temperature and humidity levels). We sit at a wooden table next to an open window which looks out onto the roof garden, but there are no bugs. It may take a while to set out the fixings, but there’s no heat involved (except in the unusual case of last night’s meal, which involved grilling tiny eggplants), and there’s very little washing up afterward. There’s also no lugging of picnic hampers or insulated wine bags.
- slices of Alto Adige speck from Eataly (only 2 ounces on each plate); a few halved Fairy Eggplants brushed with garlic and fresh marjoram (from Central Valley Farm) then pan-grilled; 2 sliced heirloom tomatoes from Berried Treasures, covered with torn New York rooftop basil from Gotham Greens at Whole Foods, and some good olive oil; parsley from Paffenrath Farms; a handful of red radishes from Phillips Farm; three cheeses, including a soft sheep’s milk cheese, Kinderhook Creek Mini, by Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, from Whole Foods; ‘ Manchester’, a goat’s milk cheese from Consider Bardwell; and, seen on the plate here, Toma Point Reyes cow’s milk cheese from Eataly; finally, slices of a fresh Italian rye from Eataly
- a Swiss white wine, Domaine de Beudon, Fendant Valais 2005, from Appellation wine & Spirits
Hake with green sauce is apparently a Basque staple, by many accounts, but grilled corn is not a traditional accompaniment. Maybe if Columbus had gotten to the new world a little sooner?
- hake fillet from PE &DD Seafood, sautéed with oil after a large clove of minced garlic, from Catskill Merino Sheep Farm, had been warmed in it, a good amount of chopped parsley from Paffenrath Gardens added when the hake was turned over to be cooked on the other side
- Bicolor corn from John D. Madura Farms, brushed with oil and seasoned, then pan-grilled, the kernels sliced from the cob, then warmed and finished with lovage from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm
- one small deep-red heirloom tomato from Berried Treasures, seasoned, quickly grilled, then finished with torn basil and oil
- a Sardinian white, La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna 2013