Very, very nice dish. Both of them.
I have to credit the addition of two small heatless habanada chilis for making this dish, one I’ve prepared a number of times , even more delicious than usual.
The vegetable side? I think I’m getting better, and just a little more creative, at dealing with this relative newcomer to American plates.
- one 17-ounce cod fillet from P.E. & D.D. Seafood at the Union Square Greenmarket, prepared more or less using a recipe from Mark Bittman which I originally came across almost 12 years ago: I washed and rinsed the fillet and cut it into three pieces, laying them on a bed of coarse sea salt, and adding more on top, until they were completely covered, then setting them aside while slicing, to a thickness of less than 1/4 inch about 14 ounces of Norland red potatoes from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, (purchased back on August 13th, and still in great shape), tossing them in a large bowl with 2 chopped heatless habanada peppers from Norwich Meadows Farm, a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper, arranging them, overlapping, inside a rectangular enameled cast iron pan, cooking them for 30 minutes or so in a 400º oven, or until they were tender, meanwhile thoroughly immersing the cod in many changes of water in order to bring down the saltiness (incidentally the soaking process somehow gives the fish more solidity, which you will feel while handling it), draining and drying the two pieces before placing them inside the pan on top of the potatoes, topping the fillets with a little olive oil and scattering them with some freshly-ground pepper, returning the pan to the oven for 8 to 12 minutes (the time would depend on the thickness of the cod), removing the fish with a spatula (or, much better, 2 spatulas) along with as much of the potatoes as can be brought with each piece, and arranging all of it on 2 plates, returning with the remainder of the potatoes, sprinkling chopped parsley parsley from Norwich Meadows Farm and scattering purple micro beets from Two Guys from Woodbridge to finish the dish
- a Strauss of minutina (only a portion of a larger bouquet) from Lani’s Farm, washed, drained, then barely wilted, inside a large enamelled cast iron pot with a bit of olive oil, above a low-to-medium-hot flame, seasoned with salt and pepper, mixed with 8 pitted kalamata olives from Whole Foods, and finished on the plates with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon
- the wine was a California (Sonoma) white, Scott Peterson Rumpus Chardonnay 2014, from Naked Wines
- the music was Handel’s ‘Alcina’, a fantastic performance with Alan Curtis conducting Il Complesso Barocco, with Kobie van Rensburg, Vito Priante, Joyce DiDonato, Sonia Prina, Karina Gauvin, Maité Beaumont, Laura Cherici, et al. [for a breathtaking glimpse of an early-18th-century world displaying more romantic warmth and passion than we have been told to expect, listen to Karina Gauvin singing the aria, ‘credete al mio dolore’, from the recording we heard last night]