crab cakes on tomato salsa on wild cress; brussels sprouts

Almost a day off.

This was a casual meal slipped in between some more ambitious holiday season dinners, and it was pretty much improvised; the idea was to give the cook a cook’s holiday, and to include elements or ingredients that had been inside the apartment for a while before they came close to the end of their useful life.

It could also be described as the impecunious diner’s surf & turf, turf here meaning vegetables.

  • two crab cakes from PE & DD Seafood (crab, egg, flour, red & green peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, milk, celery, and parsley), from the older of the 2 packages in the freezer at the time, made by Dolores Karlin, the wife of Karl Karlin, the fisherman, defrosted the night before, brought to room temperature and heated up with a drizzle of olive oil inside a small, heavy vintage, well-seasoned cast iron pan, 3 to 4 minutes to each side, served on a salsa composed of 6 quite ripe Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods that were quartered and combined with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, a small bit of dried peperoncino Calabresi secchi from Buon Italia, chopped Salinas, California parsley from Eataly, dried Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia, and a few cut-up sections of Berried Treasures Farm garlic scapes (the last of the season) that had first been softened by warming them up in a little olive oil over a gentle flame, the salsa in turn had itself been arranged on a shallow bed of wild cress from Lani’s Farm, the whole assembly garnished with some remarkably long-surviving pea shoots purchased from Echo Creek Farm in the Saturday Chelsea Farmers Market very early in December
  • twelve small Brussels sprouts from Lani’s Farm, the last from a quantity that I had also purchased over 3 weeks earlier, washed, trimmed and dried, tossed inside a bowl with a little olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more of the dried peperoncino Calabresi secchi roasted inside a medium size unglazed seasoned Pampered Chef pan until the sprouts were partly brown and crisp on the outside
  • the wine was an Italian (Veronese) white, Corte Quaiara, Garganega Campo al Salice 2016, from Flatiron Wines
  • the music was again live streaming of the awesome octonary WKCR Bachfest 2018