The fish was superb, delicious and perfectly cooked (yay, the skin was even crispy this time), as was the salsa, but while the vegetable was also delicious, one look at the rather stiff green stems in the picture above should be enough to show the choy sum wasn’t properly cooked. The next time I prepare it I’ll pull aside the larger stems and spend some time breaking down their fiber (slicing them smaller, par-boiling them, or cooking them a bit before the rest of the vegetable was added to the pan).
The fish were absolutely beautiful throughout. I mostly followed a simple Gordon Ramsay recipe in preparing it.
- a salsa prepared by heating 3 tablespoons of a Portuguese house olive oil from Whole Foods Market inside a small vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot pot over a gentle flame, adding 5 ounces of sliced Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods Market and 2 ounces or so of pitted whole kalamata olives from Whole Foods Market, seasoning the mix with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, stirring for a minute or 2, the pan set aside to cool a little, and some fresh lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge and an equal amount of fresh oregano leaves from Stokes Farm (several tablespoons altogether) were chopped and, reserving some of the herbs for garnish, stirred into the salsa, the juice of half of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market added and the salsa stirred once again, and set aside while the fish was prepared
- four 4-ounce porgy fillets from P.E & D.D. Seafood, their skin slashed with a very sharp knife in 2 or 3 places each, placed, skin side down, in a little very hot olive oil inside a large rectangular enameled cast iron pan sitting over a high flame, the flesh side of the fish seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, cooked for 2 or 3 minutes until the flesh was dark golden and the skin crisp’, the fillets turned over, cooked on the other side for 1 minute, basting with the oil in the pan, if any, until the fillets were just cooked through, arranged on the plates, the salsa drizzled around them, sprinkled with some of the reserved herbs and garnished with bronze micro fennel from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- Yu Choy Sum from Lani’s Farm in the Union Square Greenmarket, washed, trimmed and very roughly chopped, added gradually to a heavy, antique, large high-sided tin-lined copper pot, in which 2 Rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm had been heated in a little Portuguese olive oil until they had begun to color, the greens stirred until tender [not tender enough this time, as some tough stems revealed later], seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, arranged on the plates, scattered with scissored chives from Phillips Farms and chopped spring garlic from John D. Madura Farm, finished on the plates drizzled with a little more olive oil
- slices of a She Wolf Bakery sourdough bâtard, to enjoy the wonderful juices, picked out from their glass front wooden box in the Union Square Greenmarket
- the wine was a French (Touraine) white, Vignoble Gibault Touraine Sauvignon 2015, from Landmark Wines
- the music was the magnificent Gould Piano Trio album, ‘Macmillan, Maxwell Davies, Beamish’