This week I broke, well bent, my rules. Usually I pick up only the freshest, tastiest New York seasonal produce to use as a base for the menu for the week. But sometimes you just get into your head that you want to try putting something together. This week I had watched a programme on the great British pear, and I have a hankering to use one in a savoury dish…
Don’t get me wrong, the pears I bought are perfectly fine. They won’t win any beauty contests, but you can successfully overwinter pears for up to about ten months. I had to root around for some good enough specimens, and found a couple that will suit my needs; I’ll post more about the menu tomorrow.
On the fish front, Whiting was the catch of the day. A wonderful, under utilized fish that’s cod-like but sustainable. A couple of fish for less than the cost of a subway ride, these will be delicious fried or roast, stuffed with some ginger and garlic. One day I will get my mackerel, although this is starting to become a running joke between me and the fishmonger.
At Lani’s farm stand this week there are three irresistible trays of edible flowers. Bright yellow tatsoi flowers, tiny white Korean watercress flowers and orchid-like arugula flowers all vie for attention. Get a few and use them to give some interest to a salad
By special request from a reader I bought mushrooms. I had been meaning to use mushrooms for the last few weeks but they kept getting edged out by the greens as I’d been craving them all winter. But given the request, it was a good reason to get all fungal. There were some amazing looking yellow oyster mushrooms from Two Guys From Woodbridge which I think I’ll save for something rather special in a few weeks. This week I picked up these regular, but still wonderful looking oyster mushrooms from Bulich Mushroom Farm. Half the price and the flavour will be great.
Last, but certainly not least is the meat. Looking like a chicken leg, but with tell-tale corn-fed bright yellow fat, these birds are what I have in mind for pairing with the pair in a rich, meaty, fruity braise. It’s from Quattro’s Game Farm, the people who sold me the different eggs for last week’s comparison. We talked about the results of that and the farmer agreed, although he suggested that pheasant egg shell may be difficult to peel on a boiled egg. The Gentleman Grocer shall investigate soon!
So there it is, another week, another great haul of New York seasonal produce Union Square Greenmarket. I can feel a risotto, a braise, a gratin and perhaps a fish fry coming on. Come back tomorrow to check out the menu!