oregano/chili-roasted squid; dill potato; grill tomato, basil

Mostly back to the Mediterranean, after a short detour in German lands.

  • one pound of rinsed and carefully dried squid bodies and tentacles from American Seafood Company in the Union Square Greenmarket, arranged without touching if possible, inside a large rectangular enameled cast iron pan that had been heated on top of the stove until quite hot and its cooking surface brushed with a thin coating of olive oil, once the oil itself was quite hot, the cephalopods immediately sprinkled with a heaping teaspoon of some super-pungent dried Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia, one small crushed dried pepperoncino calabresi secchi from Buon Italia, one large chopped fresh habanada pepper from from Alewife Farm, some sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, followed by a drizzle of a few tablespoons of Whole Foods Market organic lemon, and some olive oil, the pan placed inside a pre-heated 400º oven and roasted for 5 minutes, removed, the squid distributed onto 2 plates and ladled with a bit of the cooking juices that had been transferred to a glass sauce pitcher
  • La Ratte potatoes from Berried Treasures Farm, boiled with a generous amount of salt until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried while inside the large, still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware glass pot in which they had cooked, a tablespoon or so of olive oil added, seasoned with Maldon salt, freshly-ground black pepper, tossed with chopped dill from Alex’s Tomato Farm in the Saturday 23rd Street farmers market
  • four small San Marzano tomatoes from Quarton Farm, each sliced in half and placed face down on a plate which had been spread with sea salt and pepper, the surface dried somewhat with a paper towel and placed in a hot grill pan and turned once, finished on the plates with a bit of olive oil, a few drops of balsamic vinegar, and the very last leaves, torn, of those that had remained on a basil plant from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • the wine was an Italian (Campania) white, Terredora Falanghina 2017, from Garnet Wines
  • the music was a genuine oddity, ‘Les Mystères d’Isis’, an 1801 adaptation, for the Paris opera, of Mozart’s ‘Die Zauberflöte’, by Ludwig Wenzel Lachnith, with a new French text by Étienne Morel de Chédeville