Month: November 2018

artichoke ravioli, scape, peppers, olives, mint, pea shoots

I had gotten bored with my usual approach to a very handy staple we’ve enjoyed so often, and I wanted to better identify the artichoke flavor, so I tried introducing this store-bought ravioli to some new things. Also, I really didn’t have any tomatoes.

  • one sliced garlic scape from Berried Treasuress Farm heated in a little olive oil inside a large antique copper pot until pungent and partly softened, then a small yellow grenada seasoning pepper and a very small green aji dulce pepper, both from Eckerton Hill Farm, neither of them hot, both thinly sliced, added and stirred for a minute, then a 10-ounce package of Rana artichoke-filled ravioli from Eataly Flatiron that had been boiled for barely 3 minutes and drained before some of the cooking water was reserved, was tossed into the pot and carefully stirred with the rest of its contents, also adding over half a cup of the reserved pasta water, over medium-high heat until the liquid had emulsified, then ten or so pitted kalamata olives and some chopped peppermint from S. & S.O. Produce tossed in and the mix stirred before being arranged inside 2 shallow bowls, more mint and some pea shoots from Lani’s Farm tossed on top, olive oil poured around the edges of the pasta

There was a small cheese course, but it didn’t manage to get photographed.

  • a bit of Coach Farms fresh goat cheese (the package had been in the refrigerator for some time, having been purchased for exactly the eventuality in which it saw use last night: a bite to extend a meal that would otherwise have been too small), on a plate sprinkled with a little freshly-ground black pepper and some chopped dill fronds
  • thin toasts from small slices of a Bread Alone miche that had been in the bread box for  a few days


vinegar-brushed sole, lemon pea-shoot sauce; cauliflower

There were 8 of them, but combined they weighed only about 13 or 14 ounces, which is even less than I sometimes buy for the two of us. Because they were tiny and thin, they took up a lot of the surface area of even a large pan. I didn’t have room on the stove top for another, so they ended up crowded; this is not ideal on any count, including the processes of turning them over and of removing them from the pan when they were done.

As a result, they ended up looking a bit disheveled on the plate, but they were delicious.

It seems that the cauliflower liked it, since it decided to imitate the appearance of the sole, and it too was delicious.

  • eight very small grey sole fillets from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, a total of 13 or 14 ounces, dried thoroughly, salted on both sides and brushed with a little good Italian white wine vinegar, sautéed over a medium-high flame inside an enameled cast iron pan in 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil, turning once, the fillets removed, the pan wiped with a paper towel, 2 tablespoons of Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’, 2 tablespoons of juice from an organic Whole Foods Market lemon, and and a loose handful of pea greens from Windfall Farms, allowed to warm inside of it for a minute or so, either over a low flame or none at all, before the sauce was drizzled onto the sole

  • one 15-ounce head of white cauliflower from Alewife Farm, separated into florets and par-boiled in salted water for 2 minutes, drained and set aside while 2 finely-chopped Keith’s Farm rocambole garlic cloves were heated in 2 tablespoons of olive oil inside a large enameled cast iron skillet until pungent and beginning to soften, then 2 salted Sicilian anchovies, rinsed and filleted, added and stirred briefly until ‘melted’, the reserved cauliflower, and the more tender leaves (which had not been blanched) thrown in, along with a decent bit of peperoncino Calabresi secchia from Buon Italia, and sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, everything stirred together and cooked until the cauliflower softened (in this instance, very quickly), served with chopped parsley from Keith’s Farm
  • the wine was a California (Sonoma) white, ROX Scott Peterson Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2017, from Naked Wines

ripe shishito; culotte steak, ramp butter; roast sweet potato

Color has returned to the table, especially in this appetizer.

  • a couple handfuls of delicious, very juicy ripe shishito peppers (normally sold before they are mature, and still green in color, they move toward orange and then red as they mature) from Berried Treasures Farm, washed, drained, dried, then sautéed over medium high heat in a seasoned 13.5″ cast iron pan for a few minutes, stirring, until they had blistered nicely, then seasoned with Maldon salt
  • slices of a farmer-ground half white and half whole wheat She Wolf Bakery miche, to help soothe the impact of the hotter of the peppers

The main course was also simple enough, but also no less exciting for being so, and it was pretty easy to assemble.

  • one 11-ounce steak (a cut called ‘culotte’ here, ‘coulotte’ in France, ‘picanha’ in Brazil), from Sun Fed Beef/Maple Avenue Farms in their stall at Saturday’s Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market, just down the block from us, brought to room temperature, cut into 2 pieces, seasoned on all sides with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, seared for less than a minute on the top, or thick, fat-covered side inside an oval enameled heavy cast iron pan, the 2 long sides cooked for 3 or 4 minutes each, then the ends and the narrow bottom side seared, each very briefly, removed from the pan at the moment they had become perfectly medium-rare, arranged on 2 warm plates, each topped with a pat of defrosted ramp butter made last April using some small, first-of-the-season woodland ramps from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, a bit of juice from an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market, and some Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’, the steaks then allowed to rest for about 4 minutes before being served

  • just under a pound of Japanese sweet potatoes, from Lani’s Farm, left unpeeled but washed thoroughly, cut as for short french fries, tossed inside a bowl with olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, 3 large unpeeled cloves of rocambole garlic from Keith’s Farm, and a pinch or two of crushed dried habanada pepper, roasted in a 425º oven in a  large much-treasured very-well-seasoned Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic oven pan for about 35 minutes, or until crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and a little chewy on the edges, some Maldon salt thrown onto the pan after it was removed from the oven, the frites arranged on the plates with some sunflower greens from Windfall Farms arranged at their side
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) red, Karen Birmingham Reserve Zinfandel Lodi 2015, from Naked Wines


[image of boy with horn, uncredited there, is from BBC radio]

breakfast in greens

Maybe it’s just the season, but without intending it, lately I seem to be coming up with almost monochromatic meals. Sometimes I don’t realize this until I’ve snapped the picture, and then of course it’s too late.

Especially before I added a rasher of bacon, the breakfast/lunch I put on the table today, while not quite limited to a single color, certainly didn’t look as parti-colored as the ones we enjoyed this summer.

Fortunately neither the eggs nor the ‘ham’ were actually green.

  • the ingredients of the meal were, eggs from pastured [green] Americauna chickens and thick bacon from pastured pigs, both products of Millport Dairy Farm; local (regional) Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ from Whole Foods Market; finely-chopped pieces of a green scallion from Stokes Farm, chopped sections form one Berried Treasures green garlic scape, and a fresh green aji rico pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm; Maldon salt; freshly-ground black pepper; a pinch or so of a dry seasoning (not green) called L’ekama from Ron & Leetal Arazi’s New York Shuk; chopped green dill from Stokes Farm; and pieces cut from an organic multigrain baguette from Bread Alone, and not toasted, that, surprisingly, had survived for several days without turning green after its purchase in the Union Square Greenmarket on Friday
  • the music was Handel’s ‘Music for Queen Caroline’, William Christie directing the Choir and Orchestra of Les Arts Florissants, after which we listened to the incredibly gorgeous, ethereal, ‘Missa Videte miraculum’ of Nicholas Ludford (c. 1485-c. 1557), a little-known composer of the English renaissance (with works of Tudor polyphony) who grew up during the reign of Henry VII and died on the cusp the Elizabethan age


[the second image, a cartoon used to advertise the Dr. Seuss TV series adaptation, is from Netflix]

herb-baked striped bass; boiled potatoes, chervil; lacinato

I now prefer cooking bass in a pan, using a more minimal approach, to let more of the goodness of the fresh fish shine, and subjecting it to high heat on top of the stove, to produce the crispy skin usually associated with professional chefs, but last night I needed to work quickly and with no stress, so I returned to the oven.

  • two striped Bass fillets (about 7 ounces each) from Catherine at the Seatuck Seafood Company’s stand in the Union Square Greenmarket, each scored with several very shallow slashes on the skin side, to prevent curling, placed inside a glazed ceramic oven pan skin side down, scattered with a little chopped thyme from Keith’s Farm and oregano from Stokes Farm, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, a light sprinkling of some homemade dry bread crumbs, and drizzled with a little olive oil, placed in a 425º oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through, the fillets removed from the pan, arranged on 2 warm plates, a little juice from an organic Whole Foods Market lemon squeezed over the top
  • eight small satina potatoes (like carola, with yellow skin and yellow flesh) from Keith’s Farm, scrubbed, boiled unpeeled in heavily-salted water until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried in the still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, tossed with a tablespoon or more of rich some rich Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’, sprinkled with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, garnished with micro chervil from Two Guys from Woodbridge

  • late-season cavolo nero [what originally appeared to be only a small stash of loose leaves and small bunches, from Tamarack Hollow Farm, but ended up as a generous vegetable side, because I was careful not to let it reduce too much] wilted briefly inside a heavy antique medium size tin-lined copper pot in a tablespoon or so of olive oil after one halved rocambole garlic clove from Keith’s Farm had first been heated there until fragrant and softened, the greens seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and drizzled with a little more oil
  • the wine was a California ( ) white, Jac Cole Unoaked Chardonnay Alexander Valley 2017, from Naked wines
  • the music was Haydn’s’ 1779, ‘L’isola Disabitata’, another 18th-century opera with a fantasy island setting (and Haydn once went to the moon with one),  Antal Doráti conducting the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra