broiled sea perch with anchovy; boiled potato, chives; rabe

I love this fish in so many ways. This may have been my tastiest broiled sea perch with anchovy, ever, and there have been a lot of them.

Here they are still inside the fishers’ bucket at the Union Square Greenmarket:

Unrelated: I think freshwater perch (Perca flavescens) would be even more popular than it already is if it were as red as these beauties, which even stay orange or red throughout the cooking process.

Oops, I just read that my favorite finned delicacy while I was growing up around the Great lakes, ‘the ultimate pan fish’, is now mostly farmed.  You really can never go home again.

The fillets lying on the counter at home, after being rinsed:

After being placed inside the pan, oiled, garlic-ed, and seasoned:

  • four beautiful Atlantic sea perch fillets (one pound total), red, or orange-red colored, sometimes called ‘redfish’, but in New York area at least, it’s normally ‘sea perch’ or ‘ocean perch’, even though they aren’t really perch at all, but ‘rockfish’ [?], from American Seafood Company in the Union Square Greenmarket, brushed with 2 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with about a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic from our local, 8th Avenue Foragers Market, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, placed inside a large enameled cast iron pan, broiled skin side up 4 or 5 inches from the flame for about 4 or 5 minutes, at which time the edges had become a little crisp, and the fish was cooked through, removed from the broiler and sauced simply with a bit of warm anchovy in olive oil (2 salted Sicilian anchovies from Buon Italia, rinsed thoroughly, filleted and chopped, had been heated over a very low flame for about 5 minutes in 2 tablespoons of oil, by which time the anchovies had fallen apart), the fillets garnished with micro red radish from Two Guys from Woodbridge, Whole Foods Market lemon wedges served on the side
  • just under a pound of very sweet small redskin potatoes from Race 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 Trader Joe’s Italian Reserve extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and tossed with scissored fresh chives, also from Phillips Farms, which were supposed to be served with more chives scattered over the top, but I forgot to add them
  • what remained of a large bunch of broccoli rabe (aka raab, or rapini, among other names) from Migliorelli Farm after cooking most of it 2 days earlier, wilted in a little olive oil inside a medium size antique high-sided tin-lined copper pot in which 6 small garlic cloves from Foragers Market had been heated until fragrant and slightly softened, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a couple pinches of dried peperoncini Calabresi peperoncino secchia from Buon Italia in Chelsea Market, divided between the 2 plates and drizzled with a little more olive oil
  • the wine was a Portuguese (Alentejo) white, Esporao Monte Velho White 2016, from Garnet Wines
  • the music was a recording of the 2018 premier performance [yeah, the premier] of Donizetti’s 1839  opera semiseria, ‘L’ Ange de Nisida’, in a concert performance at the Royal Opera House in London, in association with the remarkable company, Opera Rara, conducted by Mark Elder, the title role sung by Joyce El-Khoury