If the fish itself looks a little different than it did the last time I cooked it this same way (it seems ‘peppered’ with dark red spots), I’m thinking the difference is that I actually had Aleppo pepper this time (Morton & Bassett dried, from Westside Market), while I’d always had to use a substitute of some balance of fine cayenne pepper and a dulce paprika.
The potatoes we had are a rarity, I think, or at least they are to me, a combination of Adirondack blue and red ‘new potatoes’ [new potatoes, are immature potatoes that have been harvested by pulling out the young tubers by hand, leaving the plant itself in place]. The colors are not dramatically different, especially once cooked, but what difference they exhibit does make for some extra subtle interest, especially with a green garnish.
Before deciding on the vegetable, I had briefly thought of using the agretti I had in the refrigerator, so it made sense to me to use a small amount of this interesting saltwort as a garnish for the tubers.
- two blackfish (tautog) fillets (17 ounces total) from Pura Vida Fisheries [prepared mostly following a recipe by Melissa Clark published in the New York Times almost 7 years ago, placed in a large heavy oval copper skillet over a medium-low flame, a quarter cup of pitted kalamata olives from Chelsea Whole Foods scattered around the fish, cooked for about 4 minutes, flipped and cooked for another 4 minutes, then, near the end of that time, roughly 10 ounces of quartered Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’, also from Whole Foods, were tossed into the pan, moved around a bit and allowed to break down, the fish and the olives transferred to 2 plates when done, the tomatoes spooned around the fillets, everything sprinkled with a torn mild furry spearmint from Space on Ryder Farm and fresh torn basil from a plant I had bought, I think, from Central Valley Farm in the Greenmarket
- one pound of some very dark ‘new potatoes’ [immature potatoes that are harvested by pulling out the young tubers by hand, leaving the plant itself in place], this time a combination of red and blue Adirondack, from Norwich Meadows Farm, boiled with a generous amount of salt until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried while still in the still-warm vintage medium size Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, rolled around inside the pot in a little more than a tablespoon or so of Whole Foods Market house Portuguese olive oil and thin slices of a red spring onion from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, sprinkled with salt and pepper, garnished with chopped thin sections of agretti from Campo Rosso Farm
- the wine was a French (Loire/Coteaux du Layon) white, Sablonnettes 2017 Vin de France Le P’tit Blanc, from Chambers Street Wines
- the music was an album of music by Anders Eliasson, his Double Concerto and Sinfonia For Strings, performed by Johannes Gustavsson leading the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra