When I saw the beautiful fillets at the Greenmarket, I immediately checked to see when I had last cooked hake. Using this blog’s index, I learned that it had been over 7 months back.
I decided to bring one home.
- one thick 19-ounce hake fillet from Jan at P.E. & D.D. Seafood Company, washed drained, halved, dried, dredged in seasoned wheat flour from The Blew family of Oak Grove Plantation in Pittstown, N.J., browned on both sides in olive oil inside a large heavy antique oval copper pan over medium-high heat, removed, and, ensuring there were a full 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan, adding one chopped ‘Expression Sweet’ onion and one tablespoon of chopped garlic, both from Norwich Meadows, the alliums cooked, stirring, for 2 minutes, followed by one and a half cups of a good low-sodium vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons of juice from a Chelsea Whole Foods Market organic lemon, and 4 or 5 sprigs of fresh thyme from Trader Joe’s Market on 6th Avenue, the fish returned to the pan and cooked, in this case, because of its thickness, for 7 or 8 minutes, arranged on 2 plates and garnished with micro red mustard from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- six Maine cherry ‘cocktail’ tomatoes from Whole Foods, slow-roasted inside a small antique rolled-edge tin oven pan with a heaping teaspoon of dried Italian oregano from Buon Italia, half a tablespoon or more of Trader Joe’s Reserve olive oil, and 2 bruised cloves of garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm
- several handfuls of delicate young flat purple mustard greens from Alewife Farm, greens that should ideally have been wilted for only seconds in a little live oil in which 2 cloves of sliced garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm had been allowed to sweat, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, then finished on the plates with a drizzle of olive oil, but in fact, while I thought I had turned off the heat soon enough to save their shape and freshness, they had somehow managed to continue cooking, in the process pretty much losing both; they were still delicious however
There was a small cheese course.
- three cheeses, a maturing ‘Mammuth’ goat milk cheese (camembert style) from Ardith Mae, a
semi-firm Riverine Ranch water buffalo ‘farm stand cheese’ (no name, since their terrific cheeses are constantly being reinvented, and cheese isn’t easily standardized in any event), and an Italian caseificio ‘Bocconcino di Alta Langa’ (Piedmont) goat milk cheese from Eataly
- slices of a delicious polenta boule from She Wolf Bakery
- the wine was a California (Clarksburg) white, Miriam Alexandra Reserve Prince Vineyard Chenin Blanc, from Naked Wines
- the music was the Missy Mazzoli album, ‘Vespers for a New Dark Age’, with her ensemble Victoire, percussionist Glenn Kotche, synth producer Lorna Dune, and virtuosic vocalists Mellissa Hughes, Martha Cluver and Virginia Warnken