I spotted the mackerel first thing at the Greenmarket on Monday. Then I saw the yellow mushrooms, and, a few minutes later, some very beautiful bronze fennel; the meal was now completely assembled in my head.
But when I brought it to the table, although I had washed and chopped it, I forgot all about sprinkling the fennel on the fish and the mushrooms, which means the entrée was only partially realized, as planned, although it was still very delicious.
The fennel would also have added to the aesthetic, but it will probably make an appearance in the meal to be served the next day [update: it did]
- nine small Boston mackerel fillets (a total of 14 ounces) from P.E. & D.D. Seafood in the Union Square Greenmarket, seasoned on both sides with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, sautéed fairly gently in a couple tablespoons of butter inside a large, thick antique oval tin-lined copper pan, flesh side first, turned after about a minute and a half and the other side cooked for about the same length of time, removed and arranged on 2 plates when done, either covered, to keep warm, or, if it’s convenient to do so, placed inside a barely-warm oven, the heat kept low under the pan and another tablespoon of butter, or a little more, added, and when it had melted about 6 ounces of roughly-chopped yellow oyster mushrooms from Blue Oyster Cultivation tossed into the pan and sautéed, stirring, until lightly cooked, the mushrooms seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, and some ramps from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, bulbs chopped, leaves sliced, plus about a tablespoon (or a little more) of lemon juice added to the pan, everything briefly stirred with a wooden spatula, the mushrooms and their juices spooned around the mackerel (which I had intended to finish with some chopped bronze fennel from Norwich Meadows Farm)
- the remainder of a bunch of broccoli rabe (aka rapini) from Migliorelli Farm (most of it had been included in a meal a few days before), wilted in a little olive oil inside a large antique high-sided tin-lined copper pot in which 2 small sliced spring garlic stems from Windfall Farms had been heated until slightly softened, the greens seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, divided onto the plates, sprinkled with a little bit of dried pepperoncino Calabresi secchi from Buon Italia and drizzled with more olive oil
- slices of a whole wheat sourdough miche from Bread Alone Bakery
- the wine was an Oregon (Willamette Valley) white, Scott Kelley Pinot Gris Willamette 2017, from Naked Wines
- the music was Haydn’s last opera, ‘L’anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice’ (The Soul of the Philosopher, or Orpheus and Euridice), written in London in 1791, but not performed until 1951, in Florence (when the lead role was sung by Maria Callas), the Academy of Ancient Music and the Academy of Ancient Music Chorus conducted by Christopher Hogwood