Month: July 2016

grilled scallops with oregano buds; sautéed okra; tomatoes


Very simple.

Once the scallops, 2 vegetables, and 2 herbs had been washed and dried, the tomatoes and oregano chopped, and the basil torn, this meal came together in about 10 minutes, and pumping a minimum of heat into the kitchen.


  • fourteen medium scallops from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, washed, drained and very thoroughly dried on paper towels (twice), generously seasoned with salt and pepper, pan grilled for about 90 seconds on each side, finished with a squeeze of a small sweet lemon from Trader Joe’s, a scattering of budding oregano from Stokes Farm, most of it chopped, and a drizzle of good olive oil poured on top


  • small okra from Lani’s Farm, sautéed over a high flame in a large cast iron pan with a little olive oil and some crushed dried Itria-Sirissi chili (peperoncino di Sardegna intero), stirring, seasoned with sea salt
  • one chopped heirloom tomato from Eckerton Hill Farm and 2 quartered Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods, dressed with a Campania olive oil, Maldon salt, Tellicherry pepper, a little balsamic vinegar, and tossed with some torn basil leaves from Sycamore Farms
  • the wine was a New York (North Fork) rosé, Bridge Lane Rosé 2015
  • the music was Johann Adolf Hasse’s 1725 opera, ‘Marc’ Antonio e Cleopatra’, in a performance by le Musiche Nove, Claudio Osele conducting

duck with micro beet greens; snow peas with lemon, mint


Gamey.  The duck was definitely more gamey this time than we remember it ever being, but for us that’s a good thing.  The next day, I described it to one of the people I see regularly behind the Hudson Valley Duck Farm counter in the Greenmarket. He told me that the breed of duck they raise hasn’t changed [in many years] and then asked me how large the breast had been, suggesting that it might have been because of the age of the duck, but we both agreed that one pound was not out of the norm.

Apparently it was just a gamey duck, a very good gamey duck.


  • a one-pound boneless duck breast from Hudson Valley Duck Farm, the fatty side scored in cross hatching with a very sharp knife, the entire breast then sprinkled with a mixture of sea salt, freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, and a little bit of turbinado sugar (which, in our kitchen, means infused over time with a vanilla bean), the duck left standing for 45 minutes or so before it was pan-fried, fatty side down first, in a tiny bit of oil over medium heat, draining the oil part of the way through (to be strained and used in cooking later, if desired), removed when medium rare and cut into the 2 portions at that time to be certain of its doneness, left to sit for several minutes before finishing it with a drizzle of organic lemon, a sprinkling of micro beet greens from Two Guys from Woodbridge, and a bit of Campania olive oil (the tenderloin, removed earlier from the breast and also marinated, is always fried very briefly near the end of the time the breast itself is cooking)



bacon, eggs, crusty bread, 2 salts, 2 peppers, 6 herbs, etc.


And no toast!

I think I went a little overboard with the condiments this time. It was supposed to be just bacon and eggs, but I think I was inspired by a new (well, actually, antique) master salt I had just brought home and I went looking for a second kind of salt to serve with our favorite finishing salt, Maldon. Then I found more things, both dry and fresh, to put on the table in little dishes, and a meal that might otherwise have been pretty standard breakfast/lunch fare had become almost exotic.

The image below is of the eggs (which were smaller than usual) looked just before they had finished frying in my heavy iron pan. It had been a little too hot when I cracked the eggs into it, so the thinner layer of whites almost immediately bubbled up as they set, giving them a slightly weird appearance. I did however get every one of them onto the plates with yokes intact, something I’ve not always been able to manage.



shishito peppers; croxetti, scapes, green tomatoes, herbs




These shishito were particularly gentle, none of them were really fiery (I think I was disappointed), but I had sliced some bread just in case it’d be needed.

The pasta was also without drama, but also delicious.

For reasons I don’t recall now, I cooked an entire package of croxetti the other night, even though I did not need more than half of it for the meal I was preparing. I put the remainder in the refrigerator, after tossing it with olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.

Maybe I was experimenting.

On Saturday night it reappeared, in a very different guise.


  • Shishito peppers from Lani’s Farm, washed, drained, dried, then sautéed over medium high heat in a cast iron pan for a few minutes, stirring, served on plates and accompanied by a selection of four salts: classic Maldon; smoked alderwood, from The Filling Station, ‘Sel Magique‘, and my own homemade lemon-caper salt
  • slices of ‘Compagne’ (a traditional sourdough) from Bien Cuit Bakery, via Foragers Market
  • the wine was an Italian (Umbria) rosé, Falesco Vitiano Rosato Umbria 2015


  • Genovese Alta Valle Scrivia Croxetti, from Eataly, previously-cooked (a ‘leftover’, stored in the refrigerator), tossed in a large enameled cast iron pot in which a handful of garlic scapes from from Willow Wisp Farm had been sautéed until tender, together with 3 sliced green tomatoes from Lani’s Farm which had been sautéed in a separate pan until beginning to carmelize on the edges, and some sea salt and dried Itria-Sirissi chili, some reserved pasta water then added, the pot heated and stirred until the liquid had emulsified, the mix finished with the addition of chopped spearmint from Lani’s Farm and torn basil from Sycamore Farms, both also used as a garnish once the pasta had been put into bowls
  • the wine was a French (Rhône) rosé, Domaine de La Verrière Ventoux Rosé 2015 [the producer’s own site was down at the time I posted this]


  • the music was the album, L’orchestre De Louis XIII (hasn’t one always wanted to know more about the father of The Sun King?), Le Concert des Nations directed by Jordi Savall

skate, alliums, lemon, lovage, micro beet; potato; tomato


Basically there was nothing really new for us here, except for just about all of the additives in all 3 parts of this entrée. Otherwise I think the picture above pretty much covers the story.


  • four skate wings from Pura Vida Fisheries, about 13 ounces altogether, coated all over with a coarse polenta which had been seasoned with salt and pepper, sautéed in olive oil (and a bit of butter) for 3 or so minutes on each side (the difficult part is turning them over without breaking them up), removed from the pan, the pan wiped with a paper towel, about 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, chopped shallots from John D. Madura Farm, and 2 small cloves of garlic from Alewife Farm, sliced introduced into it and stirred over a now-lowered flame, followed by the addition of a little more butter, the juice from half of an organic lemon, chopped lovage from Keith’s Farm, and a scattering of micro beet ‘greens’ from Two Guys from Woodbridge


  • six tiny new potatoes (probably red Norland) from Central Valley Farm, scrubbed, boiled -unpeeled – until tender, drained, halved, and returned to the warm pan, tossed  with rich ‘Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter‘, salt, pepper, scissored garlic chives from Lani’s Farm, and chopped fennel fronds from Tamarack Hollow Farm


  • a mix of tiny tomatoes from Alewife Farm, halved, tossed with olive oil, Maldon salt, freshly-chopped Tellicherry pepper, torn basil leaves from Sycamore Farms, a little good Campania olive oil, D.O.P. Penisola Sorrentina “Syrenum”, and a few drops of white balsamic vinegar


  • the sauces and drippings remaining were all too fine to leave on the plate, so we ended the course with two thin slices of ‘Compagne’, a traditional sourdough bread, from Bien Cuit Bakery via Foragers Market