It’s a beautiful fish
And it’s an absolutely delicious fish. Last night we enjoyed what may have been one of my most successful preparations ever, using a simple recipe I’ve become very fond of, on some very fresh fish.
It’s precisely however because I’m realizing how good this fish is without the addition of strong flavors, and because I know I’ve been in something of a rut, that I’m going to have to try even simpler recipes to showcase it in the future.
- one pound of 6 red sea perch fillets (sometimes called ‘redfish’, but usually it’s ‘sea perch’ or ‘ocean perch’) from American Seafood Company in the Union Square Greenmarket, brushed with 2 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with about a teaspoon of chopped Keith’s Farm rocambole garlic, then seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and placed inside an enameled cast iron pan, broiled skin side up 4 or 5 inches from the flame for about 4 or 5 minutes, at which time the skin had a little crisp and the fish was cooked through, sauced with a bit of olive oil in which 2 salted Sicilian anchovies from Buon Italia, rinsed and filleted, had been heated over a very low flame for about 5 minutes until the anchovies had fallen apart (this time it had just been prepared, but it could have been done a little earlier and kept warm while waiting for the fish to cook), the fillets finished on the plates with chopped lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge, lemon wedges served on the side
- six Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods Market sliced 1/4″ thick, slid into a medium size copper skillet in which some olive oil had been heating and softening one Camelot shallot from Quarton Farm, allowed to warm and also soften just a bit, seasoned with salt and black pepper, some chopped lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge mixed in and a pinch or two of dried fenugreek from Bombay Emerald Chutney Company (purchased last fall at the Saturday Chelsea Farmers Market) added
- a small amount of Savoy cabbage from remaining from the preparation of a much earlier meal (there’s a reason why cabbage was so important in the winter before California and Florida were invented) sliced into fairly narrow ribbons this time, sautéed in a little olive oil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the leaves were tender, had begun to brown and become (ideally) slightly crisp at the edges, seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and 4 flattened juniper berries, a few drops of sherry vinegar added, the contents of the pan stirred over heat for a moment then arranged on the plates with a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was a French (Menetou-Salon/Loire), Domaine Pelle, Menetou-Salon Morogues 2017, from Flatiron Wines
- the music was the ECM album, ‘Now, And Then’, Dennis Russel Davies conducting the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in the music of Bruno Maderna and Luciano Berio, in this case the composers addressing, respectively, the Italian Renaissance and Early Baroque eras and the tradition of classical and flamenco guitar
[the images are somewhat sepia-like because I had accidentally left the camera on the wrong setting]