I now prefer cooking bass in a pan, using a more minimal approach, to let more of the goodness of the fresh fish shine, and subjecting it to high heat on top of the stove, to produce the crispy skin usually associated with professional chefs, but last night I needed to work quickly and with no stress, so I returned to the oven.
- two striped Bass fillets (about 7 ounces each) from Catherine at the Seatuck Seafood Company’s stand in the Union Square Greenmarket, each scored with several very shallow slashes on the skin side, to prevent curling, placed inside a glazed ceramic oven pan skin side down, scattered with a little chopped thyme from Keith’s Farm and oregano from Stokes Farm, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, a light sprinkling of some homemade dry bread crumbs, and drizzled with a little olive oil, placed in a 425º oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through, the fillets removed from the pan, arranged on 2 warm plates, a little juice from an organic Whole Foods Market lemon squeezed over the top
- eight small satina potatoes (like carola, with yellow skin and yellow flesh) from Keith’s Farm, scrubbed, boiled unpeeled in heavily-salted water until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried in the still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, tossed with a tablespoon or more of rich some rich Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’, sprinkled with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, garnished with micro chervil from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- late-season cavolo nero [what originally appeared to be only a small stash of loose leaves and small bunches, from Tamarack Hollow Farm, but ended up as a generous vegetable side, because I was careful not to let it reduce too much] wilted briefly inside a heavy antique medium size tin-lined copper pot in a tablespoon or so of olive oil after one halved rocambole garlic clove from Keith’s Farm had first been heated there until fragrant and softened, the greens seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and drizzled with a little more oil
- the wine was a California ( ) white, Jac Cole Unoaked Chardonnay Alexander Valley 2017, from Naked wines
- the music was Haydn’s’ 1779, ‘L’isola Disabitata’, another 18th-century opera with a fantasy island setting (and Haydn once went to the moon with one), Antal Doráti conducting the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra