Ocean perch. It’s a beautiful fish, and always a treat, even when if one of the diners has to negotiate it while suffering the temporary loss of the use of one hand.
Dealing with the vegetable ended up the larger challenge.
- *four red-skinned ocean perch fillets (18 ounces) from American Seafood Company, rinsed, and dried, both sides brushed with 2 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with a total of little more than one teaspoon of a chopped Rocambole garlic from Keith’s Farm and the white section of one thinly-sliced scallion from Phillips Farms, the fish seasoned, also on both sides, with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, placed inside an enameled cast iron pan and broiled, skin side up, 4 or 5 inches from the flames, for 4 or 5 minutes, or until the skin had become crisp and the fish was cooked through, finished on the plates with a sauce that had already been prepared by gently heating 2 salted anchovies from Buon Italia, rinsed and filleted, in a bit of olive oil over a very low flame for about 4 minutes until they had fallen apart, the sauce kept warm while the fillets were broiled, the perch garnished with micro buckwheat greens (with a mild sorrel, or lemon flavor), Whole Foods Market organic lemon wedges served on the side
- *one bunch of sweet baby bok choy from Northshire Farm in the Union Square Greenmarket (secretly paid for by an anonymous benefactor), added to a heavy vintage large tin-lined copper pot inside of which 2 bruised and halved Rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm had been heated until beginning to brown, the choy stirred until tender, occasionally introducing some of the water which they had shed after being washed, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, arranged on the plates, scattered with some washed, dried, then very roughly cut garlic chives from Lani’s Farm, drizzled with olive oil
- there was no wine, since it was temporarily forbidden each of us for a few days, for different reasons
- *the music was Vivaldi’s 1726 opera, ‘Il Farnace’, in an extraordinarily beautiful performance led by Jordi Savall; it was now at least our third hearing, not counting this one, from over 12 years ago, in which Vivaldi’s music accompanies Muntean/Rosenblum’s ‘It Is Never Facts That Tell’, the collaborative’s digital projection of a great world emptied and reduced to an enormous landfill, achingly beautiful, even without the music which accompanies its hooded figures