mustard-floured blowfish; sautéed cucumber, wild tomato

It’s not that each is so photogenic, but that there are always multiples.


They’e also simply, literally, delicious.

Here the cleaned blowfish are still in the fishmonger’s tub:

Now home, on the counter, after breading:

And just after being placed in the pan of hot olive oil:

I never deep fry anything, although this recipe comes pretty close, at least for me. Even though the idea is to prepare the pan with only an eighth to a quarter inch of oil, I always regret using even that much oil to prepare any entrée.

But I have to say it works.

  • twenty small blowfish tails, or a total of 18 ounces (which was less than half the size of those I cooked the last time) from Pura Vida Seafood Company, dredged in a little less than a third of a cup of a local Union Square Greenmarket-purchased whole wheat flour from The Blew family of Oak Grove Plantation in Pittstown, N.J. that had been seasoned with plenty of sea salt, fresh-ground black pepper, and about half a teaspoon of freshly-ground whole yellow mustard seed (which is very difficult to find; my jar of McCormick brand came from the 7th Avenue Westside Market), pan-fried in olive oil about an eighth to a quarter of an inch deep inside a 13 1/2″ heavy cast iron pan, turning them over once (cooking less than 2 minutes on each side), by which time they had turned golden), served with quarters of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market
  • a few small Jamaican burr cucumbers from from Norwich Meadows Farm, sliced into thick disks, sautéed in olive oil until lightly browned, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, the heat turned off, the cucumbers mixed with a some chopped bronze fennel from Quarton Farm, and a large handful of tiny ‘wild’ tomatoes (‘Matt’s Wild Cherry’?) from Stokes Farm tossed in, both cucumbers and tomatoes arranged on the plates enclosed by the ring of blowfish, garnished with more bronze fennel
  • a little bit of wonderful red watercress from Dave Harris’s Max Creek Hatchery
  • the wine was a California (all over California) white, David Marchesi Provare California Sauvignon Blanc 2017, from Naked Wines
  • the music was the album, ‘Musica Nova: Harmonie des Nations, 1500-1700’, with Jordi Savall directing his ensemble Hespèrion XXI