sea bass, mushrooms, aji dulce, basil sprouts; potato, chive

This entrée was very familiar, but also very special, the latter because of one ingredient, a garnish that didn’t want to be just pretty. It was also Good Friday, which still retains some specialness for this cultural Catholic atheist.

  • 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, but if left outside an oven they should at least be covered a little to retain their warmth); then, with 2 tablespoons of butter added to the pan, 7 ounces of beautiful blue oyster mushrooms from Ramble Creek Farm stall in the Union Square Greenmarket, split or cut, sautéed, stirring, until lightly cooked, seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a pinch of a dried aji dulce pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm, followed by the addition of a handful of remarkable basil sprouts from Windfall Farms  (noting that they had been washed in the same water as the farmers’ spring garlic back at the farm, and that I could tell) and a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice, the mushrooms stirred a little more, everything in the pan then spooned onto the plates to the side of the fish (the skin of the bass is too beautiful to cover up)
  • boiled French fingering (Rosevale) potatoes from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, rolled in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper, tossed with scissored chives from Lani’s Farm
  • the Good Friday wine was a French (Loire/Touraine/Cheverny) white, Cheverny Blanc, Domaine de Montcy 2016, from Astor Wines

Sometimes the best dessert is a simple mandarin orange, in this case from a bag delivered by Garden of Eden Market earlier that week.

  • the music was a very special performance [“The purpose of this recording was to recreate the context of a passion performance during Bach’s time at Leipzig.”] of Director John Butt’s Bach John Passion by the Dunedin Consort 



April 10