It was the first meal that I had actually cooked in over a month. Because of a little sleep deprivation and the inevitable jet lag which followed on our two flights from Berlin (a total of 12 hours), I didn’t want to be too ambitious, but I did want it to be a proper welcome back.
Also, it was my first visit to the Union Square Greenmarket since early October, and it was a Saturday, even under normal circumstances the most bountiful market day of the week. It was mid-November, but the stalls were overflowing with vegetables and virtually every other fresh summer or fall comestible: I felt like a kid in a candy store!
I had never seen such a variety of seafood available at one Union Square fish stand! Eventually I realized that much of the explanation lay in the fact that I’m never there as early as I was yesterday morning (I lay that entirely on the 6-hour time change in my sleeping schedule).
I bought a single one-pound section of a striped bass fillet from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, and since I was restocking the larder after a hiatus in the kitchen, a lot of other things, including these yellow broad pole beans from Norwich Meadows Farm.
- one 16-ounce striped Bass fillet fromP.E. & D.D. Seafood, divided into two sections and scored with several very shallow slashes on the skin side to prevent curling, placed in a teaspoon of olive oil inside a ceramic pan skin side down, scattered with a little chopped thyme and parsley from S. & S.O. Farm, a pinch or two of super-pungent dried Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia, and two small slightly crumbled dry Italian bay leaves from Buon Italia, salt, pepper, a sprinkling of some homemade dry bread crumbs, and a drizzle of olive oil, the pan placed in a 425º oven for about 10 or 12 minutes, when it was removed and an organic lemon from Whole Foods squeezed over the top
- a scattering of purple radish micro greens from Windfall Farms
- yellow flat (‘Romano’) pole beans from Norwich Meadows Farm, blanched briefly, drained and dried, then reheated in oil in which two small habanada peppers had been warmed until fragrant, finished with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was a French (Coteaux de l’Ardèche) white, Grand Ardèche Chardonnay 2015, from friends
- the music was Mozart’s 1787 opera, ‘Don Giovanni’, in a 1997 recording of Claudio Abbado conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Ferrara Musica Chorus, with Uwe Heilmann, Patrizia Pace, Soile Isokoski, Bryn Terfel, Carmela Remigio, Simon Keenlyside, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, and Matti Salminen