What’s for Dinner?

What’s for dinner? That’s what I’m always asked. So tonight, after today, after having committed to Sea Scallops,Baby Fennel and New Potatoes, I sorta knew what I wanted. I bought all these things at Dewey Square Farmers Market by South Station in Boston. You would imagine that in a city like Boston, it would be easier to get fresher fish and sea-food, something that is more local and sustainable. Well, now you can. I’m all about cooking fish and I’m picky. I love buying fish from Redsbest. This is beyond restaurant quality. And all small local boats involved. I’ll save food and politics for another day

      I enjoy shopping at Farmers’ Markets simply because the food is better. It does’nt  come cheap but you pay for what you get. I like all my vegetables and this is one of the ways I like to get fresh produce. It is summertime. There is no excuse for not eating fresh produce. Support your local farmer. Back to the scallops, fennel and spuds…..what do you do? I have a couple of support players…Check this out.

    This is my wild Sicilian mountain fennel. It grows fine here at sea level on the East coast. This does not form bulbs like you would imagine. It is a weed and if you plant it in your garden, you have to stay on top of it. But the aroma, the scent. I grow it for the pollen. Fennel pollen is essential for southern Italian cooking. I like it with fish dishes to give them a finish.

In my kitchen, this is the sort of oil I like to use…..This is not an oil to cook with. You are going to use this this to finish dishes. This olive oil from Liguria, think of Sampdoria, the football team and Ruud Gullit and Roberto Mancini……is pressed from late harvest Taggiasca olives. That means that this northern Italian EVOO is going to taste buttery, olivey and velvety and it will have some spice in the finish. Long story short, delicious with fish….everything from seafood soups, seafood antipasti, pasta and seafood as well as grilled or roasted fish. Just pour it on, glug, glug, glug.

      Pan seared Sea Scallops. I use Grape Seed Oil for extreme home saute work. Not everyone should try this but at 18,000 BTU’s this is not so bad. The trick is to have them pan-seared, medium-rare and warm at the same time. I finished these scallops with lemon zest, lemon juice, chives and olive oil. They look nice and juicy.These scallops had fennel pollen over them also

I love the combination of fish and potatoes. I also love the idea of being able to snip the herbs that I like using when I need them. In my herb garden, there are chives, parsley, sage, chervil, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, fennel and basil. All the usual suspects. Parsley, it is fair to say, is my favourite herb. Since my childhood, images of rainy days, snails and fresh parsley

      All of the above fits into my version of simple cooking. Just find the right ingredients and treat them right. I dont really have  any recipes. Everything is done, seemingly, on a whim. I have rules. More on that later…..meantime, whilst I fashioned supper, I threw down with three loaves of bread and wrote this too. This is Farro bread. Farro is a grain similar to wheat. Just the DNA is different. It’s an ancient grain so you know it is good for you. My bread starter is about a year old. I make a seeded bread with sunflower, sesame and flax seeds. This bread is probably a little over proofed but who cares, right. It still tastes good. Hope you liked my first post.

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