The first course was only a matter of assembly some good ingredients.
- a little over 3 ounces of bresoala Bielese salumeria from Eataly, arranged with a spray of a few live hydroponic dandelion greens from Two Guys from Ridgefield and some ‘baby Romano’ (oak leaf speckled lettuce) from Eckerton Hill Farm, drizzled with a very good Sicilian olive oil, from from Agricento, Azienda Agricola Mandranova, seasoned with sea salt and Freshly-ground black pepper, plus a bit of juice from an organic Whole Foods Market lemon
- slices of a She Wolf Bakery polenta boule
The second course required actual cooking, but I’ve prepared the dish, or ones like it, so often that it could also be described as mostly a matter of assembling.
Fortunately, the cooking time (completely unattended) for the second course corresponded roughly to the time we needed to enjoy the first.
- two 7.5-ounce cod fillets from American Seafood Company in the Union Square greenmarket, prepared more or less from a recipe from Mark Bittman which I had originally come across years ago: the cod washed and rinsed, placed in a platter on a bed of coarse sea salt, with more salt added on top until the pieces were completely covered, then set aside while a bed of potatoes was prepared for them by slicing 12 ounces of Nicola potatoes from Tamarack Hollow Farm to a thickness of less than 1/4 inch, tossing the potatoes in a large bowl with olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a large pinch of orange/gold home-dried Habanada pepper [acquired in the fall of 2016 from Norwich Meadows Farm], arranging the potatoes, overlapping, in a rectangular enameled cast iron oven pan, cooking them for 25 minutes or so in a 400º oven, or until they were tender when pierced, then, at some time before the potatoes had finished cooking, the cod was thoroughly immersed in many changes of water, to bring down the saltiness (incidentally, the soaking process somehow gives the fish more solidity, which can be easily felt while it’s being handled it at this point), draining and drying the two pieces before placing them inside on top of the potatoes, drizzling them with a little olive oil and scattering some freshly-ground pepper on top, returning the pan to the oven for about 9-10 minutes (the exact time depends on the thickness of their), removing the fish with a spatula (or, much better, two spatulas), along with as much of the potatoes as can be brought along with each piece, and arranging everything, intact if possible, onto 2 plates, returning to the pan for the remainder of the potatoes, the servings each scattered with chopped parsley from Norwich Meadows Farm and garnished with purple micro amaranth from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- the tender greens cut from one bunch of white beets from Norwich Meadows Farm, gently wilted inside a heavy tin-lined medium copper pot with 2 quartered garlic cloves (‘Calabrian Rose’ Rocambole garlic from Keith’s Farm), that had first been been allowed to sweat in a bit of olive oil until beginning to color, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, arranged on the plates, and drizzled with fresh olive oil
- the wine through both courses was a California (grapes from the Sacramento River Delta with a small amount of Viognier from Lodi) white, Miriam Alexandra Chenin, from Naked Wines
- the music was the 20-year-old Felix Mendelssohn’s 1829 updated (or ‘modern’) version of Handel’s 1718 baroque opera, ‘Acis and Galatea’, Nicholas McGegan directing the Göttingen Festival Orchestra and the North German Radio Chorus, with Julia Kleiter (Soprano), Michael Slattery (Tenor), Christoph Prégardien (Tenor), and Friedrich Wolfe (Bass)