It’s an excellent fish. Unaccountably, it’s less expensive than many of its culinary cousins (hake, cod, halibut, sea bass, tilefish, pollock, ocean perch, or porgy, among others) but demand and celebrity dictate these things in the food world, and the restaurant world, pretty much the same as they do everywhere else.
It’s also a good-looking fish, even when the original parts aren’t all there.
- two 9-ounce whiting fillets (a size larger than what I usually bring home, but that was what was available), from Pura Vida Seafood, rinsed, dried, seasoned with salt and freshly-ground pepper, placed inside a heavy tin-lined oval copper pan and prepared something like this Melissa Clark recipe, using over 4 tablespoons of a mix of chopped herbs (this time a combination of finely-chopped red sorrel from two Guys from Woodbridge, rosemary from Eataly, peppermint and oregano from Lani’s Farm, parsley from Norwich Meadows farm, and basil leaves off of a living plant from Whole Foods), briefly employing a little aluminum foil for a cover, and using both a small brush and a wooden spoon to repeatedly spread/ladle the scallion-herb butter (Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter) over the fillets, although last night the fish was finished on the plates with a garnish of micro bronze fennel from Two Guys from Woodbridge (because it was there in the refrigerator, and I love fennel anything).
I was originally going to serve only a green vegetable accompaniment, but I knew the fish would enjoy being around some boiled potatoes as well.
- two medium Carola potatoes from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, boiled, drained, dried in the pan, cut into smaller pieces, rolled in the clear pyrex pan, tossed with a tablespoon of butter, seasoned with Maldon salt and freshly-ground black pepper, and sprinkled with a little zest from a local sweet lemon from David Tifford of Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, and lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- one bunch of collard greens and half that amount of mizuna (remaining from what had not been used in an earlier meal) from Norwich Meadows Farm, torn into small sections (all of the mizuna and most of the collard stems were tender enough to include in the cooking), washed several times and drained, transferred to a smaller bowl very quickly, in order to retain as much of the water clinging to them as possible, wilted inside a heavy oval enameled cast iron pot in which 2 halved garlic cloves from John D. Madura Farm had first been allowed to sweat in a bit of olive oil with a little crushed dried Sardinian pepperoncino from Buon Italia, the greens finished with a little salt, freshly-ground pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was a California (Lodi) white, David Akiyoshi Reserve Chardonnay 2015, from Naked Wines
- the music (well, it was ‘Good Friday’) was Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 (1903-1904-1906), Rafael Kubelik conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra [“Es gibt doch nur eine VI. trotz der Pastorale.” – Alban Berg]