The meal began with the idea of sausage, and it turned out to be one described as ‘Spanish style’, from a German-American butcher shop (on the Tuesday of the previous week I had asked Barry to bring some back when he was near one of our favorite shops in Yorkville).
Dinner moved on into cucumber territory (cooked cucumber, and so belonging to any number of cooking traditions, perhaps especially that of eastern Asia, but not the United States).
Then I remembered I had bought some Moroccan M’smen at the Greenmarket 2 days before. That naturally led to the spiced Labneh, (its origins are in the Levant, the eastern Mediterranean generally, including Greece, plus the Middle East, and Central and southern Asia) that I had been given by a Union Square Greenmarket farmer on the Wednesday before and had not yet even tasted.
The wine, a California zinfandel, came next. The last guest to join the party was Moondog, and I have no idea where to locate him geographically.
It was just a little bit like the the International Express, although perhaps a train waiting on a sidetrack, with people, mostly strangers, sharing food. It was delicious and in the end it managed to feel of a piece with some culinary tradition, even if I couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe the greater Mediterranean (all sides of it)?
- four links of ‘Spanish Style Chorizo’ (12 ounces) from Schaller & Weber’s store, pan grilled for a few minutes, turning often until carbonized somewhat on all sides, spread with the last of a jar of wonderful Inglehoffer cranberry mustard sauce (I’m now looking for more)
- two pieces of Hot Bread Kitchen Moroccan M’smen, heated separately over a medium flame in a very large cast iron dry skillet for about one minute on each side, served with a large dollop of spiced Labneh from Courtney and Brian Foley’s Riverine Ranch
- four small Kirby cucumbers from Alex’s Tomato Farm at Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market on 23rd Street (they had begun in a high tunnel early in the spring, and were then opened up to the weather by mid-May), washed, dried, chopped into disks, sautéed in a tablespoon or so of olive oil inside a medium copper pot over medium heat until beginning to turn brown in places, and, just before that moment, one small sliced red onion from Norwich Meadows Farm was added and stirred until softened, then a bit of chopped lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge and a sprinkle of fenugreek from Nirmala Gupta (of the 23rd Street Market’s ‘Bombay Emerald Chutney Company‘) added near the end, the vegetables arranged on the plates, with a little more lovage tossed on top
- the wine was a zinfandel a Califronia (Lodi) red, Karen Birmingham Reserve Zinfandel Lodi 2015, from Naked Wines
- the music was the 2010 album, ‘Moondog: Sidewalk Dances‘