pasta pomodoro, flounder, mizuna, cheese

dinner, 3/7/11

After only a couple of outings, we’ve already come to think of this simple, quick technique for small fillets (here winter flounder, locally caught) as the holy grail of fish recipes:  A way to let the taste of fresh, mild-flavored wild-caught fish shine, with a minimum of distractions.  Last night it was especially superb, not least because the fish had probably been in the sea only the day before.

  • large-diameter ribbed tubular pasta, “Gigantoni,” (Setaro, from Buon Italia), combined with a simple cooked tomato sauce using canned San Marzano tomatoes, finished with basil;  served with spelt bread from Eataly
  • wine:  Italian, Cà di Pian Barbera D’Asti D.O.C. 2006, from La Spinetta
  • small flounder fillets from from Riverhead-based PE & DD Seafood in the Union Square Greenmarket, dried and then sprinkled with white wine vinegar and some salt, lightly-floured, sauteed in a little oil, removed from the pan, to which butter and lemon juice were then added, scraped together, gently warmed, and sprinkled with chopped parsley; accompanied by Japanese mustard greens (frisée-like Mizuna) from Lani’s Farm, also in the Greenmarket, which were wilted in a pan with oil which had first heated some chopped shallots, then finished with a bit of fresh oil
  • cheese:   an especially sweet slice of “Rupert,” an artisanal cow’s milk form from the Greenmarket stall of Vermont’s Consider Bardwell Farm (the maker describes it as “An aged, raw Jersey cow milk cheese inspired by great European Alpine cheeses like Gruyère and Comté.”);  accompanied by thin slices of spelt bread
  • wine:  Spanish, Naia 2008 Rueda (Verdejo) by Jorge Ordonez, from 67 Wine

cod with green sauce, broccoli

dinner, 2/21/11

I love broccoli – even “straight” – but I wanted something slightly more imaginative to go with a beautiful fresh cod fillet I had picked up at the Greenmarket.  I tend to prefer vegetables barely cooked, and I almost always avoid complex treatments, but when I looked inside my paper folder with the “broccoli” tab, I was instantly seduced by the ingredients listed in a Kyle Phillips recipe I had printed some time back.

Halfway through the preparation however I was taken aback when I saw that the “brew” appeared, to my eyes, overcooked, and had come to resemble the limp contorno found in authentic Italian cookery.  I shouldn’t have worried, and I should have remembered how good Italian vegetable preparation can be at its best:  The Broccoletti con Pan Grattato e Acciunghe was awesome, and I will certainly be doing it again.

  • cod fillet in green sauce (described by Mark Bittman as “a Basque staple”), that is, a seasoned fillet from Riverhead-based PE & DD Seafood in the Union Square Greenmarket, cooked slowly for maybe 10 to 12 minutes in a skillet with a generous amount of oil,  turned once halfway through, a handful of chopped parsley added at the time;  accompanied by broccoli, a beautiful, blue-bud sorta-Asian variety (“broccolini,” or  “baby broccoli,” which is actually cross between broccoli and Gai Lan, also known as Chinese Broccoli) from D&J Organic Farm, also in the Greenmarket, cooked with bread crumbs & anchovies (Broccoletti con Pan Grattato e Acciunghe)
  • wine:  Spanish, Naia 2008 Rueda (Verdejo) by Jorge Ordonez, from 67 Wine

Calabrese salame, cauliflower frittata

dinner, 10/18/10

(color it purple, gold or green – or just leave it white, like ours this time)

I love cauliflower in every form, and I’m equally fond of eggs.  I’d been looking for the flowered cabbage in the Greenmarket all summer, but hadn’t found a small, good-looking head, in any color, until this past weekend.  As I had on hand some very fresh Greenmarket eggs from Knoll Krest Farm which I didn’t want to hold onto long, I thought of one of my favorite recipes.

  • slices of Calabrese salame (Columbus Salumeria, from Trader Joe’s), served with Greenmarket red dandelion greens dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette along with slices of “Wheat Italian Bread” from Wild Hive Bakery in the Greenmarket
  • cauliflower frittata, made in a 12-inch pan and not flipped (very, very easy:  see recipe), including in the saute mix some thinly-sliced stem as well as the torn green pointed leaves tightly enclosing the head, the eggs beaten with a bit of grated Parmigiano from Eataly and added when the vegetable had begun to color, the thin “omelet” finished with a sprinkling of anise hyssop blossoms and torn leaves, from Keith’s Farm in the Greenmarket
  • a nibble of Cave-Aged Cheddar from New Jersey’s Bobolink Dairy (Greenmarket), served with thin toasts of the same wheat bread
  • wine:  Spanish, Naia 2008 Rueda (Verdejo) by Jorge Ordonez, from 67 Wine

[image from clipart ETC (unfortunately I forgot to record the supplier, and snap an image, while  I was at the Union Square Greenmarket)]

dinner, April 26, 2009

I can’t call this meal a complete success, since I ran into some difficulty in grilling the halibut steak.   I was trying to avoid a preparation which involved heating an oven on an exceptionally warm spring day, so I opted for grilling it.  I thought it had finished cooking, but when I took the steak off the enamelled cast-iron grill pan and tried to cut into it, both to confirm my assumption and to divide it into two equal portions, I realized my mistake.   Then, in trying to remove the cross-shaped bone in the center, I ended up breaking it into a number of different-size pieces which I then returned briefly to the hot pan.  Ugh.

The aesthetics of the presentation (not to mention the condition of the pan I left in the sink) left something to be desired, but the good news is that the deconstructed halibut actually tasted great, and so honored the shared sacrifices of the very-worthy two vegetables which accompanied it.

  • grilled halibut steak from Whole Foods, with chimichurri sauce (oil, lemon, garlic, shallots, red-pepper flakes and parsley);  served with a couple handfuls of really tiny (one-quarter inch to an inch round) potatoes from the Union Square Greenmarket (I think it was the Mountain Sweet Berry Farm stand), quickly-boiled, dried and finished with oil, garlic and chopped rosemary;  and green kale (California, organic) from Whole Foods braised with garlic and oil
  • wine:  NAIA 2007 Rueda (Verdejo) by Jorge Ordonez, from K&D Wine

dinner, April 25, 2009

This one is really simple, really delicious, and can be assembled in minutes.   I bought the meat and the greens at the Houston Street Whole Foods on the way home from the opening at Scaramouche.  It was also done pretty much on the cheap (I figure it cost a total of about $16.50 for the two of us, without wine).

  • remaining slices of white pizza made with ramps and guanciale, gently heated in our tiny microwave for 30 seconds.
  • pan-grilled thick top loin (New York strip) steak on sale at Whole Foods, finished with shallots, parsley and oil;  served with terrific Shushan hydroponic tomatoes purchased in the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesday, cut, rubbed with salt and pepper, pan-grilled and finished with oil and balsamic vinegar, along with braised organic rainbow chard (California) also from Whole Foods, finished with crushed peppers and salt and pepper.
  • wines:  NAIA 2007 Rueda (Verdejo) by Jorge Ordonez, from K&D Wine with the pizza,  Perrin Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2007 from Manley’s Wines with the entree.