This meal was successful way beyond our expectations. We were enjoying ourselves with another of Target Margin Theater’s Gertrud Stein ‘lab programs’ in Bushwick until some time after 9, so it was almost 10 o’clock by the time I could begin to assemble what I had originally thought would be no more than a decent ‘square meal’ to reward our wait for dinner (the alternative, had we dallied on Starr Street even a little longer, would have been to call in a good pizza (and not one from my own oven).
The ingredients were prime, the recipes were familiar and among my favorites, especially that for the pork, and I was paying attention to what I was doing, even with the distraction of Mozart, but the dinner was definitely still more delicious than either of us had expected (this time I mean, really good ). I’m sure it was largely because all of the ingredients were entirely Union Square-Greenmarket fresh and local (except of course for the salt, pepper, lemon, and olive oil).
And, yes, it was also pretty pretty to look at.
- two pork chops from Flying Pigs Farm, thoroughly dried, seasoned with salt, and pepper, seared in a very hot, heavy enameled cast-iron pan, half a lemon squeezed over them, then left in the pan with them while they were roasting in a 400º oven for about 14 minutes (flipped halfway through and the lemon squeezed over them once again), finished with the pan juices, in which a sprinkling of the last bit of fresh sorrel from Rogowski Farm, sliced thinly, had been introduced and stirred
- orange and red carrots (four of each) from Monkshood Nursery and Gardens and two leeks from Lucky Dog Organic, both halved, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted in a ceramic pan for about half an hour at 400º (the leeks added near the end)
- collard greens (the last of the season), also from Rogowski Farm, cut as a rough chiffonade, then braised in a heavy pot in which crushed garlic from Lucky Dog Organic had been allowed to sweat with some heated olive oil, the dish finished with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was an Italian white, le Salse Verdicchio di Matelica 2013
- the music was Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’, in a terrific performance by Renée Jacobs and the Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik