Is it just me or do you see anything in the meal pictured here, somehow relating to the painting above? It does to me, the funny thing is that it happened naturally.
I received an email w/the beautiful painting depicting The Shakyamuni Buddha’s first teaching of the Four Noble Truths that July 20th this year commemorates this auspicious day and that on an auspicious day as this karmic results are multiplied by one hundred million so it is an excellent day to practice meritorious activities.
As the universe would have it my day started out w/my serving a meritorious random act; just as I was docking the Citibike I rode from the East Village to Union Square before 9:30AM, at the only dock, of 30 available, a woman approached me to ask a number of questions about the Citibike. Her biggest concern was about not feeling stable if she could not reach the ground on the bike. I obliged willingly, showing her how the seat can be adjusted and let her take the bike for a spin while also explaining how to use the ‘key’ you get w/an annual ‘membership’ when a young guy tried to dock his bike in the only available dock I was standing in front of when the woman returned from her spin on the bike. We explained the situation and the guy rode off.
Later that day I came across a recipe that jumped off the page at me in one of the many daily, food related emails I get and that was a green tomato & corn salad. Knowing the ramifications of meritorious acts today, preparing a nice dinner just might be a perfect act of kindness to share.
I was out of work promptly by 5:30P on a sunny gorgeous evening. I made a B-line to the subway with the Essex Street Market as my destination. I had 2 RI native ears of corn at home so it was green tomatoes & a nice piece of fish I was looking to procure. All the way there I figured I’d get a cod filet or maybe a brook trout.
Much to my surprise and joy there was a beautiful side of wild caught blue fish and at a fabulous price, less than $6 a pound. Now I and many of my cronies, we love blue fish. For us the first bluefish catch marks the beginning of summer in New England where the rich-tasting fish is local, sustainable, inexpensive and abundant in the summer months in the N. Atlantic. Should you not be thrilled with Bluefish because of it’s somewhat gamy flavor and somewhat oily texture, cod, trout, snapper will hold up nicely to this preparation and the side dish which motivated the whole thing in the first place. Finding green tomatoes at this time in the summer proved difficult – at Essex St. Market so I splurged on 2 medium sized heirloom tomatoes that still had a good amount of green on them.
This dish clearly goes to show how keeping color in mind elevates the food while also rounding out the wholesomeness of the meal. What I prepared was a cross between pan searing & poaching a bluefish filet with light slather of mayo on the flesh cooked in a pad of butter, 1 sliced garlic clove & olive oil & a cap full of Gin which is a traditional way to prepare bluefish. I learned this preparation on Nantucket years ago when after a day of blue fishing we cooked up numerous fish, baked in the oven with mayo & splashes of gin. Served with dice, steamed Yukon gold potato & the corn & green tomato salad. I must admit, baking bluefish is more to my liking but it was just to hot to crank up the oven so cooking on the stove-top worked out just fine.
2 ears of corn – kernels sliced off the cob & steamed for 7 minutes or until you smell the sweet corn aroma
1 good sized Yukon Gold potato – diced & steamed off
2 Green tomatoes – diced
Olive oil & Salt of D Earth – RhODy blend – for the corn salad dressing
1 garlic clove – thinly sliced
1 T butter & 1 T olive oil
S&P – season the skin side of the fish
1 -2 Ts Mayo – thinned out & spread over the flesh of the fish
Gin – 1 cap full
What I did to prepare this meal
Start by dicing the potato & steaming that off.
Infuse the thinly sliced a garlic clove in the melted butter & olive oil by swirling a (saute) pan before placing the prepared bluefish, flesh skin side down in the pan. Allow the fish to cook a good 5 mins over a medium high heat before adding a cap full of any Gin of your choosing. On my top shelf I keep a lovely bottle of Bombay Sapphire. With the splash of Gin in the mix, I lowered the flame and put a lid on the pan.
I had the corn steaming so I diced up the tomatoes. Pour the steamed kernels into a bowl, season with salt or if your lucky enough to have Salt of D Earth,I used the RhODy blend but if you have Dlite or the Equinox blend, you’ll be just fine, a good splash of olive oil and toss in the tomatoes. Toss to coat & marry. You decide if you’d like your salad cold or warm. I went for warm because I was so hungry but have since made it twice and have had it cold with a grilled cheese sandwich.
I had a cold Reeds Ginger Brew which I didn’t even add rum to. Drink what you wish – wink
So for me, this is summer on a plate. Bluefish are best enjoyed very fresh, so make sure to get yours from a reliable source. Eaten within a day or two of catching, the flesh is sweet and flaky, with a deep ocean flavor.
Not until I took the photos of the dish & the sides did it hit me that the color scheme of the plate, the bowls and the contents of the bowls & the label on the bottle of Ginger Beer did it look somewhat similar to the picture I posted about this auspicious day which marks Shakyamuni Buddha’s first teaching on the Four Noble Truths.