In many ways, this meal was almost the opposite of the one we enjoyed the day before: I wrote about Tuesday’s dinner that there were no contrivances or adornments, and this time nothing but the micro green garnish was left on its own.
In fact last night I may have gone just a little too far with the embellishments (the fish in particular, looking on the plate like a stuffing, couldn’t fully display its own flavors), although we both had to agree that everything was really delicious, and Barry said these may have been my best turn at eggplant ever. Yay Turkey!
a combination of both a little roughly-chopped rocambole garlic and thin scallion, both from Keith’s Farm, heated until softened in a little Whole Foods Market Portuguese house olive oil and a bit of Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ inside a large heavy antique oval copper pan over medium heat, the alliums removed and discarded (or saved for some use the next day), a little more oil and butter added if necessary, the flame raised to medium-high, and, once the pan was quite hot, four 4-ounce sea perch (aka redfish, or rose fish) fillets from American Seafood Company that had been rinsed, dried with paper towels, and seasoned with sea salt and a little freshly-ground black pepper, added, seared, skin side down first, for about 3 minutes (the skin should be nicely golden and ideally fairly crisp by then), turned over and cooked for another minute or so, the fish removed and placed on 2 plates that had been kept warm, either in a warm oven or tented with aluminum foil, then 4 ounces of roughly-chopped blewit mushrooms, foraged by Windfall Farms in Montgomery County, were introduced to the skillet and sautéed until slightly undercooked, more oil added once along the way as necessary, one chopped habanada pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm added near the end of that time, the mushrooms finished by lowering the heat a bit and tossing in short segments cut from 2 Berried Treasures Farm garlic scapes that had previously been blanched, and continuing to cook for roughly one minute, the allium and mushroom mixture divided between the warm plates, 2 perch fillets placed next to each ‘bed’, both fish and mushrooms finished with a generous squeeze of an organic Whole Foods Market lemon, lemon wedges placed at the side of the plates
a garnish of some flashy purple micro radish, also from Windfall Farms
five beautiful small orange Turkish eggplants from Lani’s Farm, cut horizontally into 3 slices, mixed with a little olive oil, one large finely-chopped Rocambole garlic clove from Keith’s Farm, 6 or 8 pitted and halved Kalamata olives from Whole Foods Market, sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper, pan-grilled, without the olives, on an enameled cast iron ribbed pan over a brisk flame, turning once or twice, rejoined by the olives once they were done, kept warm above a very low flame while the fish was prepared, sprinkled with chopped peppermint leaves from Keith’s Farm, arranged on the plates, and more mint added, finished with a drizzle of olive oil
- slices of an excellent She Wolf Bakery sourdough from the Union Square Greenmarket
- the wine was a Spanish (Catalonia) white, Celler Frisach, Garnacha Blanca ‘Terra Alta L’Abrunet’ 2017 from Flatiron Wines
- the music was Viktor Ullmann’s 1935 opera, ‘Der Sturz Des Antichrist‘, which is described in Gramophone as a “prophetic music drama – an allegorical depiction of the rise of a dictator, the destruction he causes and his ultimate defeat.” [is listening to a performance in the 21st century to be prophetic as well?], in its premier performance, by the Bielefeld Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bielefeld Opera Choir, Rainer Koch conducting, 60 years after it was supposed to be mounted by the Vienna State Opera; Ullmann died in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944
[image of Viktor Ulmann from ClassicFM]