duck breast, rosemary; tomatoes; asparagus with thyme

It was all good.

  • one 14-ounce duck breast from Hudson Valley Duck Farm, the fatty side scored in tight cross hatching with a very sharp knife, the entire breast then sprinkled top and bottom with a mixture of sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a little turbinado sugar (in our sugar bowl, infused over a very long time with a whole vanilla bean), left standing for 30 or 45 minutes before it was pan-fried inside a small oval enameled cast iron pan over medium heat in a tiny bit of olive oil for a total of 8 or 9 minutes, turning once, the fatty side down first, draining the oil part of the way through [to be strained and used in cooking later, if desired], removed when medium rare (cut into 2 portions to check that the center is of the right doneness, which means no more than medium rare), left to sit for several minutes before finishing it with a drizzle of juice from a sweet local lemon from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island and drops of olive oil, garnished with some micro red amaranth from Windfall Farms [NOTE: the tenderloin was removed from the breast before it was marinated, but seasoned as the rest of the breast, and fried very briefly near the end of the time the bulk of the meat was cooking, dividing it into two parts and arranging it on the plates aside the main section of the breast]
  • four Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods halved, placed inside the pan as the asparagus completed cooking, turned once, removed, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and arranged on the plates near the duck breast sections
  • 14 or so thick stalks of asparagus from Stokes Farm, trimmed, the stems peeled, tossed in a couple of tablespoons of butter, about a tablespoon of olive oil, and a few branches of thyme, inside a large enameled rectangular cast-iron pan, then sautéed over medium high heat, frequently rolling or turning them in the mix of butter, oil, and herb until crisp-tender and beginning to brown (about 15 minutes), finished with a sprinkling of Maldon salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry peppercorns
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) red, Karen Birmingham Zinfandel Lodi 2014, from Naked wines
  • the music was the album, ‘W. F. Bach: Concerti & Trios‘, works by Bach’s eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann (“neither a copycat nor a patsy to fashion” – from the liner notes)