This was the first fully-prepared meal I have been able (allowed) to put on the table since cutting off the tip of my index finger in a kitchen accident on the 7th, and I relished every bit of it.
In preparation, I went to the Greenmarket the day before, fairly late, as I had only to pick up a vegetable; I already had everything else I would need for the next day, whether I ended up deciding on meat (frozen Greenmarket pork) or fish (frozen Greenmarket crab cakes).
I picked one of the last fresh bunches of greens, purple mustard, reminding myself how good it was to still be able to enjoy such a treat near the end of December.
The meal, I had decided, should still be pretty simple, since I would be wearing a latex glove on my right hand to protect a bandage. In fact, like the one I had pulled off two days before, it could actually have been assembled with that hand behind my back. I’m just glad I didn’t have to.
- two thick 9-ounce pork chops from Tamworth pigs from Grazin’ Angus Acres (heritage Tamworth pigs), thoroughly dried, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, seared quickly on both sides inside a very hot, heavy enameled cast-iron pan, 2 pieces of a floral-scented heatless orange habanada pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm that I had dried this fall, placed on the top surfaces before half of a sweet local lemon from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island was squeezed over them, after which the lemon was left on the surface of the pan between the chops, which were then placed in a 425º oven for about 14 minutes (flipped halfway through, the lemon squeezed over the top once again and once again replaced in the pan), the finished chops removed from the oven and arranged on 2 plates, some pea shoots/sprouts from Windfall Farms arranged around them, some of the pan juices poured over the top of the chops, the remainder poured into a sauce boat for use at the table
- purple mustard greens (well, at least the pot liquor was purple-ish) from Norwich Meadows Farms, wilted in a little live oil in which one clove of garlic from Stokes Farm, halved, had been allowed to sweat, seasoned with salt and pepper and finished on the plates with a drizzle of olive oil
- pickled red beets from Millport Dairy Farm
- the wine was a California (Sonoma) white, Scott Peterson Rumpus California Sauvignon Blanc 2015, from Naked Wines
- the music was Boris Ivanovich Tischenko’s Symphony No. 8, and his Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra, with soloists Mila Shkirtil, Mezzo-Soprano; Chingiz Osmanov, Violin; and Nikolai Mazhara, Piano, with the St. Petersburg State Symphony, Edward Serov conducting