I was excited about the opportunity of chopping up what seemed a first to be a very large celery root to serve what I thought would be a very generous amount of pseudo–frites, so early in the evening I cancelled the idea of including roasted Brussels sprouts, however special the opportunity of enjoying them from a local farm in late January might be, thinking that incorporating another vegetable into the meal might be a little too much. And then I added a handful of micro greens, both for their color and for the effect they might add of an imagined additional volume.
The Brussels sprouts could wait.
The celery fries turned out to not be smaller in number than I had expected, so the little greens ended up carrying more than their weight (or at least offering a fresh diversion from the browns in the meal).
- four small lamb loin chops from 3-Corner Field Farm, cooked on a very hot grill pan for about 5 or 6 minutes on each side, seasoned with salt and pepper after they were first turned over, finished with lemon, chopped winter savory form Stokes Farm, and olive oil
- one celery root (about 12-13 ounces) from Norwich Meadows Farm, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into the size and shape of potato frites, tossed in a bowl with olive oil, a half teaspoon of Spanish paprika picante, salt, and pepper, spread onto a medium-size Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic pan, and roasted at 400º until brown and cooked through, removed to two plates, and tossed with chopped parsley from Eataly
- micro arugula greens from Lucky Dog Organic, washed, dried, scattered on the plates and dressed with good olive oil, a squeeze of one small, local lemon/lime from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, salt, and pepper
- the wine was a California (Lodi) red, JC van Staden Malbec Lodi 2014
- the music was Bruckner’s Symphony No 8, Jaap Van Zweden conducting the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic
Yes, it’s been around the neighborhood for a while, but I was told this dish was better than ever this time.
- skate wings from Pura Vida Fisheries, about 14 ounces altogether, coated with a coarse polenta which had been seasoned with salt and pepper, sautéed in olive oil (and a bit of butter) for a few minutes, removed from the pan, the pan wiped with a paper towel, and some butter, chopped shallots from Whole Foods, and sliced garlic from Tamarack Hollow Farm introduced into it and stirred over a lowered flame, followed by the addition of a little more butter, juice from half of an organic lemon, and chopped parsley from Eataly
- a handful of racinato (cavalo nero) from Tamarack Hollow Farm, briefly wilted with olive oil and one small garlic half which had first been heated in the oil
- the wine was a California (Santa Barbara) white, Rasmussen Chardonnay 2014
- the music was Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 in E Major, Jaap van Zweden conducting the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
and a purple napkin as well
These delicious savory crab cakes, made by one of the Greenmarket fishing families, are now familiar kitchen friends here, but we never tire of their complex flavors, and the ease with which they can be prepared is welcome every time.
- two crab cakes from PE & DD Seafood (ingredients: crab, egg, flour, red & green peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, milk, celery, parsley), heated in a heavy cast iron pan, 3 to 4 minutes on each side, and served on a bed of 6 Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods, which were chopped and combined with salt, black pepper, one finely-chopped small Fresno pepper from Eataly, a bit of homemade French Basque piment d’Espellate purchased in a small town north of Baie-Comeau, Quebec last year from the producer’s daughter, and some chopped fresh oregano leaves from Stokes Farm, finished with juices from the salsa drizzled over the cakes
- small German Butterball potatoes (I think) from Tamarack Hollow Farm, scrubbed, boiled in salted water, drained, steamed dry, rolled with a small amount of olive oil, a bit more salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and chopped tarragon from Eataly
- purple winter kale from Tamarack Hollow Farm, wilted with olive oil in which one slightly-crushed Calabrian Rocambole garlic clove from Keith’s Farm had been allowed to heat until pungent, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of fresh olive oil
- the wine was a California white, David Akiyoshi Chardonnay Clarksburg 2014, from Naked Wines
- the music was Jaap van Zweden conducting the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4
It was already getting late, but the meal wasn’t going to take long. Then I realized that this night might be my only opportunity I’d have for using some mozzarella remaining from that which I’d bought for a meal a few days earlier. I also had some decent fresh basil which wasn’t going to be decent (fresh) much longer. I also had a few small-ish tomatoes on hand, so of course I thought, insalata caprese!
The salad can be put together quickly. For those who might not know how to go about it, there’s this simple recipe. Preparing the bass fillets, even with the side dishes, should also not have taken very long, but putting both together in a small kitchen at once, when both of us were already hungry, got a little complicated (I began to think I had four hands – and two heads).
Because we did have two main courses, we finished dinner later than we might have – or wanted to – but it was all good in the end.
- a caprese salad, assembled on two plates, using Fior di Latte mozzarella from Buon Italia, Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods, very local basil (Gotham Rooftop) from Whole Foods, and some pungent dried Italian oregano from Buon Italia (even though the recipe I referred to suggests the oregano only if you are using arugula, and not basil)
- there was some superb bread, a baguette monge, from Maison Kayser
- the wine with the antipasto (although, in fact, there was not to be any pasta) was a New Mexico (Sierra County) sparkling, Gruet Blanc de Noirs
- two 7-ounce sea bass fillets from American Seafood Company, dipped in a mixture of an egg from Millport Dairy whipped with chopped parsley from Eataly, the fish then dredged in seasoned flour, sautéed for a couple minutes in a mixture of butter and olive oil, first skin side down, turned, cooked for a total of only a few minutes, or until the fish was cooked through (the time will vary with the size of the fillets and the height of the flame), removed from the pan and sprinkled with a bit of local lemon/line from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, and dressed with the pan juices which had been mixed with more parsley after the fillets had been removed
- tiny white carrots from Rogowski Farm, a few ‘sticks’ of celery heart from Eataly, and some thyme branches, also from Eataly, tossed together with olive oil, salt, and pepper, cooked in a small Pampered Chef pan at 400º until tender, some of the celery leaves added near the end and stirred in (the total time will depend on the size of the vegetables; these only took about 10 or 15 minutes)
- a small amount of curly green winter kale from Tamarack Hollow Farm, wilted in olive oil in which one clove of garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm, halved, had been cooked until it had begun to brown, finished with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine with the fish was a French (Bordeaux) white, Château d’Arveyres Bordeaux Blanc 2014
This meal was incredibly German, and yet, ..not really. To be honest, it was a not quite traditional take on what were more or less traditional German ingredients.
Actually, I wasn’t really trying for any particular effect. Early in the day I thought of looking for kielbasa, which is only sort of a German sausage. Just before that I had learned by looking on line that there were no fish sellers at the Greenmarket today (no surprise, considering the weekend’s weather), so I had to look elsewhere for inspiration.
Well, it surely was cold out, and I already had on hand the kind of vegetables which would love to accompany a spicy central European-type sausage, but when I got to Dickson Farmstand Meats, Philip told me that they had no kielbasa; he suggested their Jaegerwurst as a reasonable substitute.
It was more than reasonable. The sausage was super, and the vegetables seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.
- three links of very good ‘Jagerwurst’ (a spicy smoked pork sausage) from Dickson Farmstand Meats, pan grilled, served with some good grainy Geman mustard from Whole Foods
- purple-topped turnips from Norwich Meadows Farm, washed, scrubbed, peeled, cut into half-inch-thick slices, tossed with oil, salt, and pepper, then roasted in an unglazed ceramic pan for 30 minutes at 425º, a medium leek from Whole Foods, sliced in half-inch segments, added half-way through, finished with chopped parsley from Eataly
- a composed salad, arranged on a plate to the side, using the remainder of one small red cabbage from Whole Foods, in a rather loose interpretation of a delightful Kurt Guttenbrunner recipe I had cut out of ‘New York’ Magazine a10 years ago
- the wine was a California (Amador County) white, S & A Amador Touriga 2014, by Sarah Wuethrich and Ana Diogo_Draper
- the music was Marek Janowski‘s Dresden ‘Siegfried’, an extraordinary, beautiful, very sensitive performance, from his 1980-83 ‘RIng’, the ‘Siegfried’ with Kollo, Schreier, Altmeyer
Adam, Nimsgern, Salminen, Wenkel, and Sharp