coppa; alliums/lemon/caper-baked pollock, potatoes, kale

We love pollock.

Once I’ve arrive at whatever fish stall is in the greenmarket on any given day, if I haven’t focused on my choice right away, I’ll sometimes consult with Barry, slacking, asking what his preference might be, giving him a short list, or sending him an image of the menu board (the example above, showing relatively few choices, was from that day, a Monday, which is always slow). He suggested Pollock this time, because we both like it, because it’s still a great bargain, and because it had been a while since we’d had it.

It was also a nice excuse for serving the delicious coppa that remained in a package opened for a meal 2 days earlier.

  • two or three ounces of Giorgio’s coppa picante from Eataly Flatiron, drizzled with a little olive oil, Badia a Coltibuono (Chianti/Siena/Italy) from Chelsea Flatiron
  • sunflower shoots, from Windfall Farms, drizzled with the same Tuscan oil, a bit of juice from a local lemon grown by Fantastic Gardens of New Jersey, sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper  (pic)
  • slices of Pain D’Avignon‘s ‘country sourdough bread’ from Foragers Market

While I was serving it, Barry called this entrée “classic James”, because something like it does manage to appear over and over again on this site: white fish/potato/something green.

  • one 18-ounce white-fleshed pollock fillet from P.E. & D.D. Seafood Company, rinsed, dried, seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper, placed skin side down inside a buttered oval tin-lined copper au gratin pan, dappled with a mixture of softened unsalted Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ mixed with zest from most of an organic Whole Foods Market lemon, a little chopped rocambole garlic from Keith’s Farm, slices of a scallion from Phillips Farms, and part of a piece of a  crushed orange/gold home-dried Habanada pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm, baked for about 15 to 17 minutes at 350º, removed to 2 plates, the little bit of cooking juices that had accumulated poured over the top, and a teaspoon or so of Sicilian salted capers, which had first been rinsed, drained, and dried, then heated briefly inside a small antique enameled cast iron porringer in a bit of olive oil, scattered while still warm on top of the fillets, along with the oil in which they had been heated, the pollock finished with a garnish of micro red mustard from Two guys from Woodbridge
  • a few ounces of ‘pinto’ potatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm, scrubbed, boiled unpeeled in generously-salted water until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried in the still-warm large vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, tossed with a little Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’, seasoned with salt and pepper, scattered with some chopped thyme (with some of the leaves purple) from Philipps Farms
  • several handfuls of a curly winter kale from Philipps Farms [winter kales are sturdier than their older cousins, which have disappeared from the market by January; they tend to not wilt down as much when sautéed, an attractive quality for the frugal cook, during a season when the farmers have justly to ask higher prices for this wonderful green; also, light frosts only make the leaves of this hybrid taste even sweeter, a treat for the diner], sautéed, until mostly wilted, in olive oil in which 2 bruised and halved Keith’s Farm rocambole garlic cloves had first been allowed to sweat and begin to brown, then seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little more olive oil