It was a phenomenal dish.
Because it was a great recipe, really very easy to put together (if you have most of the suggested ingredients), and because it welcomes variations and improvisations. This time I included feta cheese for the first time, which wasn’t really an improvisation, since it’s suggested in the original, very sketchy recipe (I had just never had some around when I was assembling this entrée before).
Of course it meant the preparation would be even more Greek than before, so we looked around for a Greek wine and found something that would have been a perfect pairing whatever its heritage.
By the way, the bluefish is a magnificent prize, even if not fully appreciated everywhere, even today (it still remains one of the best bargains available at the market). I suspect it’s because most people don’t know how to cook it to take advantage if its almost singular virtues.
Also noting here, for the record, that boiled potatoes are not unknown in Greece.
- one 17-ounce beautiful, very fresh bluefish fillet from P.E. & D.D. Seafood Company in the Union Square Greenmarket, rinsed, rubbed with olive oil and a little Columela Rioja 30 Year Reserva sherry vinegar, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, placed inside a vintage 13″ tin-lined low-sided copper pan, sprinkled liberally with a very pungent dried Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia and a bit of crushed dried Calabresi peperoncino secchia from Buon Italia in the Chelsea Market, covered with thin slices of one small-to-medium red onion from Quarton Farm, halved very ripe grape tomatoes from Alex’s Tomato Farm in the Saturday Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market a block west of us, some chopped fresh oregano from Phillips Farms, 8 or 9 pitted Kalamata olives from Flatiron Eataly, a few ounces of feta cheese from Lynnhaven Dairy Goat Farm in the Union Square Greenmarket, crumbled, and 6 very thin slices of a Whole Foods Market organic lemon, the pan placed inside a 425º oven and baked for 15 minutes, the fillets arranged on the plates and garnished with roughly chopped bronze fennel from Space on Ryder Farm
- one pound of red Adirondack new potatoes, 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, sprinkled with salt and pepper, garnished with onion blossoms from Norwich Meadows Farm
- the wine was a quite unusual Greek (Macedonia) white, Domaine Tatsis, Xinomavro White ‘Xiropotamos’, 2015, from Flatiron Wines, [“Less than 50 cases are made of this killer biodynamic white each year. It’s made from the free-run juice of Xinomavro (a red variety similar to Nebbiolo) before the rest of the grapes are made into a rose.” – seller’s notes]
- the music was glorious, if not Greek, a stunning 2006 recording of Handel’s 1715 ‘magic opera’, ‘Amadigi di Gaula’, performed by Al Ayre Español, conducted by Eduardo López Banzo