This was an wonderful dinner, largely because of my muse.
Otherwise, while physically it seemed to me to come out of nowhere, in fact virtually every bit of this meal had come from the Union Square Greenmarket, which means our local farmers and fishers.
Of course t hadn’t arrived on the table full-blown, but 2 or 3 hours before we sat down I still barely knew the half of what it would be. It had all started at the Greenmarket, with a beautiful bass fillet, one of only 2 remaining in the fishmonger’s stall at 1:45 that afternoon; minutes later I spotted our Wednesday mushroom farmer, where one sign jumped out at me: ‘oyster mushrooms’ (apposite for this seafood moment); then, once home and looking through my digital grocery inventory for a vegetable to accompany the mushroom-dressed fish, I read ‘Magic Molly purple potatoes’ and knew I had found it. With the addition of a micro green for color, texture, freshness, and even a little spice, the meal had at least been assembled in my mind.
- one Black sea bass (just under 12 ounces) from American Seafood Company, washed, dried, seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper, sautéed 2-3 minutes over a fairly brisk flame with butter and a little olive oil inside a large, thick oval copper pan, skin side down, then turned and the other side cooked for about the same length of time, removed to 2 warm plates when done and covered at least a little, 2 tablespoons of butter added to the pan, and 6 ounces of oyster mushrooms [pleurotus ostreatus] from Bulich Mushroom Company, cut into large-ish pieces (in this case, mostly just detaching the lobes), sautéed, stirring, until lightly cooked, the mushrooms seasoned with salt, pepper, a couple tablespoons of chopped parsley from Eataly, and a tablespoon and a half of the juice of a sweet local lemon from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island added, the mushrooms stirred some more before they and the juices were spooned onto and at the side of the fish (I generally think the skin of the bass is too beautiful to disguise entirely)
The potatoes were extraordinary (the almost-black color remained true throughout the cooking, the taste was wonderful, the texture waxy, moist, and succulent).
- seven ‘Magic Molly‘ large purple fingerling potatoes from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, halved lengthwise, and one quite small red onion from Norwich Meadows Farm, thinly-sliced, tossed with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh rosemary from Hoeffner Farms, arranged, the potatoes cut-side down, on a large Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic pan, the roasted at about 375º for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through, the cut side beginning to brown (if it’s possible to tell, since the color is already almost black)
- micro snow pea shoots from Windfall Farms
- The wine was a California (grapes from the Sacramento River Delta with a small amount of Viognier from Lodi) white, Miriam Alexandra Chenin Blanc California 2015, by Alexandra Farber
- the music was Philip Glass, his 1977-1978 opera, “Satyagraha’, Christopher Keene conducting the New York City Opera Orchestra and the New York City Opera Chorus, with Douglas Perry, Claudia Cummings, Rhonda Liss, Robert McFarland, Scott Reeve, and Sheryl Woods