haddock, pom pom mushroom/lemon/butter sauce; mizuna

There was mustard.

But so much more.

I found the haddock first (I almost always head for the fish stands before looking at anything else), and then, while looking for vegetables, I spotted a farmer new to the Union Square Greenmarket: She was offering a beautiful selection of mushrooms, along with 5 different sizes of eggs produced by her free range chickens in Vineland, New Jersey [I just found this 1987 New York Times article on the history of Jewish chicken farming in New Jersey].

I now had my entrée secured, and I had already decided which greens I’d be serving to accompany it.

The preparation itself began with the mushrooms and finished with the fish; the simple operation of braising the mustards somehow found its way in the middle.

  • two tablespoons of olive oil heated inside a very thick-walled tin-lined copper 14-inch oval sauté pan over medium-high heat until barely starting to smoke, 6 or 7 ounces of sliced Lion’s mane, aka pom pom, mushrooms from Gail’s Farm, in Vineland, New Jersey tossed in, seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a pinch of a combination of 2 peppers (crushed home-dried light-colored habanada purchased fresh from Norwich Meadows Farm, and hickory-smoked Jamaican Scotch bonnet from Eckerton Hill Farm, cooked, stirring occasionally, until well browned, or 3 to 4 minutes, transferred to warmed plates (in a warm oven, door ajar), and set aside, the pan wiped dry, a tablespoon of olive oil added, the flame turned up to medium-high and, once the oil was shimmering, the mushrooms replaced by one 16-ounce haddock fillet from P.E. & D.D. Seafood that had been halved crosswise and seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked, flesh sides down, without moving until well browned, or about 3 minutes, carefully flipped over and cooked on the skin sides until the haddock was just cooked through, or about 2 minutes longer, transferred to the plates next to the mushrooms, while one cup of good vegetable stock was added to the same pan and cooked over high heat until reduced by half, the pan removed from the flame and 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of Chelsea Whole Foods Market organic lemon were stirred in, the sauce seasoned to taste with salt and pepper and poured over both the fish and the mushrooms, finished with a garnish of micro red mustard from windfall farms, in a line dividing haddock and pompoms, with lemon wedges served on the side [I mostly used this Serious Eats recipe]