Because we loves porgy, I chose porgy from among the selections offered by one of our local fisher families at the Union Square Greenmarket on Monday.
Soon after that I spotted some small, seductive, perfect specimens of 2 vegetables I immediately imagined combining to compliment the fish on a warm summer evening.
When I arrived home, I was reminded that I also had a perfect tomato on the windowsill.
I looked around on line, searching for results under ‘corn and fennel’, and I found this recipe, and it included tomato. I knew I would have to take liberties with some of the other ingredients, but dinner was now on the way.
- four 4-ounce Porgy fillets from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, dried, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, pan-seared, along with 3 thinly-sliced ramp bulbs from Berried Treasures Farm, over medium heat inside an oval copper pan in a bit of butter and a little olive oil, the fish basted with the contents of the pan more or less continually for about 2 minutes, using a small brush, then carefully turned over, the heat reduced to low, a cover (I used aluminum foil) placed on the pan and the filets cooked for about about another 2 minutes before the cover was removed and 2 or 3 tablespoons of mixed fresh herbs thrown in (I used mint, lovage, summer savory, thyme, tarragon, and basil this time), after which the basting was continued for about minute, or until the fish was cooked through, at which time the fillets were arranged on the 2 plates, and the juices and ramp fragments scooped up and sprinkled on top (the recipe has been slightly modified from one written by Melissa Clark)
- two small ears of organic early white sweet corn (‘Sugarbuns’) from Alewife Farm, shucked and kept whole, along with 2 small fennel bulbs from Central Valley Farm, thinly sliced crosswise, corn and fennel rolled in olive oil, pan grilled until beginning to char, both vegetables removed and allowed to cool, while a vinaigrette was prepared with olive oil, a little white wine vinegar, Aceto Cesare Bianco, from Buon Italia, an equal amount of the juice of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market, a smaller amount of Linden flower honey, sea salt, Freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, a couple pinches of super-pungent dried Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia, part of one dried Sicilian pepperoncino, also from Buon Italia, crushed, after which the grilled corn kernels, now cut from the 2 cobs, and the grilled fennel were added to the bowl along with almost a cup of a roughly-chopped heirloom tomato from Norwich Meadows Farm, three sliced red scallions from John D. Madura Farms and some torn basil leaves from Stokes Farm, the salad served on the plates, at room temperature, garnished with chopped garlic flowers from Windfall Farms
- in order to take full advantage of the awesome juices from both fish and the vegetables spread across the plates, there were several slices from a loaf of Orwashers ‘Chardonnay Miche’ (a dark wheat-based wine bread made with Chardonnay starter from a Long Island vineyard), purchased from the baker’s stall at Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market on 23rd St.
- the wine was a beautiful French (Savoy) white, Philippe & Sylvain Ravier Vin de Savoie Les Abymes 2015, from Chelsea Wine Vault
- the music was Handel’s ‘Admeto, re di Tessaglia’, Il Complesso Barocco conducted by Alan Curtis, with René Jacobs, Rachel Yakar, Ulrik Cold, Rita Dams, James Bowman, Jill Gomez and Max van Egmond