sea bass, oyster mushrooms; cress; multigrain baguette

I have no idea how it came together so perfectly tonight, but this was one of the best sea bass entrées I’ve ever brought to the table.

I’ve just realized, as I write this, how few ingredients went into this entrée. The bass included only olive oil and butter, the mushrooms the remaining fish juices, a little more butter, lemon, and parsley. The cress had a tiny bit of olive oil, and the micro radish of course went bare.

  • two 8-ounce Black sea bass fillets from American Seafood Company, washed, dried, seasoned on both sides with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, sautéed for 2 to 3 minutes over a fairly brisk flame with butter and a little olive oil inside a large, vintage thick-copper oval long-handled pan, skin side down, then turned over and the other side cooked for about the same length of time, removed when done and arranged on 2 warm plates (I had them inside the oven, set to its lowest temperature), otherwise covered at least a little to retain their warmth, then 2 tablespoons of butter added to the pan, plus 6 ounces of oyster mushrooms [pleurotus ostreatus] from the Bulich Mushroom Company‘s stall in the Union Square Greenmarket, as is virtually everything else involved in this or most of these meals, cut into large-ish pieces (in this case, mostly just detaching the lobes from the centers), sautéed, stirring, until lightly cooked, the mushrooms seasoned with salt, pepper, adding both a couple tablespoons of some very well packaged parsley from Eataly, chopped, and a tablespoon and a half of the juice of an organic Whole Foods Market lemon, the mushrooms stirred some more before both everything in the pan was spooned onto or at the side of the fish (I think the skin of the bass is too beautiful to entirely disguise), the edge of the plate garnished with micro purple radish from Windfall Farms
  • a delicious, chewy ‘original multigrain baguette’ from Bread Alone, not really sliced, but broken up at the table
  • some leaves cut from a living upland cress plant brought home in the snow that afternoon from Two Guys from Woodbridge, drizzled with a very little bit of very good Trader Joe’s Italian Reserve extra virgin olive oil
  • the wine was a great Portuguese (Vinho Verde) white, Vinho Verde Loureiro, Aphros 2016, from Astor Wines
  • the music was the 14-year-old Mozart”s 1770 opera seria, ‘Mitridate, rè di Ponto’, with Christophe Rousset conducting Les Talens Lyriques