lemon/thyme marinated dolphin, leeks; sautéed cucumber

It’s a wonderful fish; they all are, at least those we’ve figured out make good eating (but, yes, all of the others are wonderful as well).

I had served dolphin 4 times before; each time the fish seemed more delicious than before, and so it was last Wednesday (August 16).

I love cucumbers in any form. This time they were sautéed.

Just about halfway through the meal, there was some unplanned excitement: a stack of 2 large mixing bowls and a sugar bowl came crashing down from the top of the refrigerator. But Barry was saved!  He had been standing directly at the site, fetching cold water, and so he incurred a few minor bruises and cuts on his lower limbs.

After we dressed his wounds, we both recovered and finished a really good meal, waiting until afterwards to clean up the mess.

But dinner really was good.

  • two fillets of local dolphinfish, or orata, or dorade [it appears on this list of local ‘exotics’ with the Hawaiian name, ‘Mahi-Mahi’], about 15 ounces altogether, from Blue Moon Fish, dry-marinated for 30 minutes or so with more than half a tablespoon of zest from an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market, an equal amount of chopped thyme leaves from Stokes Farm, sea salt, and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, seared inside a hot heavy, oval copper fish pan for about 3 minutes, skin side up, then turned over, the second side seared for about the same length of time, the heat lowered and the pan loosely covered for a very few minutes with aluminum foil, which was then removed and some thin-ish slices of very small French Leeks from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm and a bit of dried golden-orange habanada pepper were introduced and very briefly sautéed along with the fish before it was removed along with the alliums and the pepper onto 2 plates, the now richly-savory pan juices poured over the top of the fish, a sliced small orange-red heirloom tomato from Norwich Meadows Farm placed as a garnish on each side of each of the fillets
  • white-fleshed ‘Boothby’ cucumbers from Willow Wisp Farm, cut lengthwise, sautéed inside a large seasoned heavy cast iron pan with a little olive oil, over a medium-high flame, turning the cucumbers twice and adding one sliced small spring red onion from N.J. Jersey Farm Produce, Inc., in the 23rd Street Saturday Greenmarket, near the end, sprinkling the cucumbers with sea salt each time they were turned, removed once the cucumbers had begun to carbonize on each side successively, a pinch of fenugreek added just before they were placed on the plates, where they were sprinkled with lovage from Keith’s Farm
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) white, David Akiyoshi Reserve Chardonnay 2015, from Naked Wines
  • the music was from the same album enjoyed the night before, the Deutsche Grammophon/DGG album, ‘haydn, “sturm” und “drang”, paris & london symphonies’, the works performed by the  Orchestra Of The Age Of the Enlightenment, and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Frans Brüggen conducting both; this time the works were Haydn’s Symphonies No. 49, 50, and 43