Steak and cucumbers, or to be more precise, water buffalo New York strip steak and poona kheera cucumbers.
- one 13-ounce New York Strip Steak of local water buffalo purchased from Brian Foley’s Riverine Ranch stand in the Union Square Greenmarket, removed from the refrigerator, where it had defrosted, rinsed, dried on both sides with paper towels and sprinkled with sea salt, allowed to rest on the kitchen counter on a paper plate, covered loosely with wax paper, for about 2 hours, then dried once again and placed inside an enameled cast iron oval pan that had already been heated above a medium-hot flame, cooked for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, or until the meat was just under medium [it’s important not to overcook buffalo, or the steak would be tough; also, noting that the color of this lean meat is a lot redder than beef means that a medium-rare buffalo steak would be the same shade of an almost rare beef steak], and, just before it was done, pieces of a thinly sliced section from a stem of a Japanese scallion from Norwich Meadows Farm were tossed onto the pan surface to be briefly heated, softening them, before they were picked out and scattered on top of the meat, before it was removed from the pan and cut into 2 sections (and checked for doneness), moved to the plates, where some juice from an organic Whole Foods Market lemon was squeezed on top, the steaks finished with a bit of chopped rosemary from Willow Wisp Farm and a drizzle of Whole Foods Market house Portuguese olive oil, allowed to rest for about 5 more minutes to let the juices to be drawn back into the muscle, relaxing the meat fiber to help ensure its maximum tenderness and juiciness
- three poona kheera cucumbers (a variety sometimes labelled, less accurately, as ‘Sikkim cucumber’) from Norwich Meadows Farm, sliced unpeeled into rounds roughly 3 cm thick, sautéed in a little olive oil inside a large antique high-sided copper pot over a medium-high flame, turned over once or twice, lightly-sprinkled with salt each time (ideally, they should have carbonized a bit, but I forgot to think about that at the time), adding, more than half way through, slices of a small red onion from Lucky Dog Organic Farm and a couple bright red aji rico peppers (not hot) from Eckerton Hill Farm, then seasoned with freshly-ground black pepper, tossed with a little fresh dill from from Alex’s Tomato Farm, arranged on the plates, garnished with more dill and some torn leaves of a basil plant from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- a little red cress (possibly wild) from Dave Harris’s Max Creek Hatchery
- the wine was a Portuguese (Dão) red, Gota Wine, Dao Tinto “Bergamota”, 2014, from Flatiron Wines
- the music was Lully’s 1676 tragédie en musique, ‘Atys’,
[the image at the bottom is from the 1989 production of ‘Atys’]