roasted squash, seared cod, wine vinegar; brussels sprouts

Winter fish.

Although I’m the one who cooked this meal, I’m going to try to leave myself out of it as much as I can, because, while I’ve now prepared it 3 times, it’s not my own recipe (it’s Mark Bittman’s, and I simply clipped it from the Times 10 years ago).

There, now I feel that I can say this dinner was close to sublime.

The Brussels sprouts are of course very easy to prepare, but both the squash and the cod would also be very simple for anyone to reproduce, as they too involve very few ingredients, and require almost no skills other than the ability to judge when the fish has been cooked through.

  • one black futsu squash from Norwich Meadows Farm, 5 or 6-inches in diameter, the outside crevices scrubbed with a brush, cut into 1/4″ slices, or segments that were arranged inside a large Pampered Chef ceramic oven pan on a couple tablespoons of melted butter, then almost as much more butter brushed over the top, baked at 400º without turning for about 30 minutes, or until tender, removed from the oven, placed on 2 serving plates and kept warm on top of the oven until finishing cooking the cod, for which the squash would serve as a base
  • one 18-ounce cod fillet from P.E. & D.D. Seafood Company, cut into 2 pieces, dredged lightly in a local Union Square Greenmarket-purchased whole wheat flour from The Blew family of Oak Grove Plantation in Pittstown, N.J., sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, quickly sautéed in a tablespoon and a half of butter inside a large heavy copper skillet over a pretty high flame, turning only once, until nicely browned on both sides and cooked through (the recipe suggests checking by inserting a thin-bladed knife, which should meet little or no resistance when the fish is done) removed and placed on the serving plates on top of the squash while another tablespoon and a half of butter was added to the pan, plus, once it had sizzled and browned, a little more than a tablespoon of decent sherry vinegar (I used a chianti vinegar last night), the sauce cooked for only 10 or 20 seconds more before it was poured over both the fish and the squash, both garnished with chopped parsley from from Paffenroth Farm
  • ten or eleven ounces of Brussels sprouts from Lani’s Farm, washed and trimmed and dried, tossed inside a bowl with a little olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus 2 whole hot dried Sicilian peperoncini from Buon Italia (one can be seen on the top of the sprouts in the picture at the top), roasted inside a medium size unglazed seasoned Pampered Chef pan until the sprouts were partly brown and crisp on the outside
  • the wine was a Portuguese (Lisbon) white, Dory Branco 2016, from Garnet Wines
  • the music was Vivaldi’s 1683 opera, ‘Il Giustino’, in a 2018 recording of Ottavio Dantone directing Accademia Bizantina and an amazing cast