squid/conch salad, cress; culotte; roast potatoes; tomatoes

With a little extra help from the Greenmarket.

The first course required little more talent than an ability to open a container.

  • eight ounces of a squid and conch salad, with olive oil, parsley, red pepper, lemon juice from P.E. & D.D. Seafood in the Union Square Greenmarket, made by Delores Karlin, the wife of Phil Karlin, the fisherman, arranged on a thin bed of wild cress from Lani’s Farm
  • slices of a levain (organic wheat, whole wheat, and whole spelt flours) from Bread Alone
  • the wine was a Portuguese (Lisbon) white, Dory Branco 2016, from Garnet Wines

The second course was almost as easy, for several different reasons: The potatoes almost cooked themselves, as did the steak, whose sauce was simply resurrected from the freezer, and preparing the tomatoes, which didn’t require cooking, was simply a matter of cutting them up, mixing them with a few things I had on hand, and then letting them sit for a spell.

  • two sirloin cap steaks (aka ‘culotte’ steak, ‘coulotte’ in France, or ‘picanha’ in Brazil) from Sun Fed Beef in the 23rd Street Market at Saturday’s Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market, one block away from us, weighing approximately 12 ounces together, each divided into 2 pieces because they were very different in weight, brought to room temperature, seasoned on all sides with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, seared for less than a minute on the top, thick, fat-covered side inside a dry oval enameled heavy cast iron pan, the 2 long sides cooked for 3 or 4 minutes each, then removed from the pan at the moment they had become perfectly medium-rare and arranged on 2 warm plates, topped with a pat of a little toasted yellow mustard and Sicilian fennel seed butter (a leftover, frozen, that had originally been made for a rack of lamb meal 4 months earlier, the steaks allowed to rest for about 4 minutes before being served

  • a few small red thumb fingerlings from Norwich Meadows Farm, halved lengthwise, tossed with a little oil, 4 or 5 unpeeled (to keep from burning) rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm, a small amount of crushed dried habanada pepper, sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper, roasted inside a medium Pampered Chef ceramic oven pan, cut side down, in a 400º oven for less about 20 minutes

  • three organic tomatoes, each of a different color, from Toigo Orchards, cut into relatively thin wedges, mixed gently inside a medium bowl with 2 thinly sliced fresh grenada verde peppers and one fresh habanada, pepper, a squeeze of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market Chelsea, and a little olive oil, allowed to rest until the steak and potatoes were ready to be served, at which time they were joined by a small mix of several chopped fresh herbs and a quite small drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • the wine was a Spanish (Rioja) red, CVNE (Cune), Rioja Crianza “Vina Real”, 2014, from Flatiron Wines
  • the music was Walter Braunfels, ‘Die Vogel’, in a performance with Lothar Zagrosek conducting the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Berlin Radio Chorus heard on a CD recording we had purchased soon after it was released in 1997