Tuesday, April 22, 2008
There's A New Potato In Town
Although I've found some excellent food resources in my new neck of the woods here in Hell's Kitchen, I must say that there are a few things that I miss about my old neighborhood. I'm no longer down the street from Kalustyan's, home to about every foreign food product, and most notably, I'm no longer walking distance from the Union Square greenmarket. This is the first time in eight years that I haven't been able to get up on a Saturday and head on over to the market in 20 minutes or less.This past Saturday was the first time since moving that I woke up determined to make it to the market--I'd installed every last piece of lighting, put up every shelf, and hung up every frame, so there were no more 'new home' errands to distract me.
The time had come to finally get back to my normal weekend cooking routine, which until recently meant stocking up on new ingredients to experiment with. So, armed with my environmentally friendly canvas tote bag and a 15% off coupon for Barnes and Noble (to be used on a cookbook, of course) I headed out into the 74 degree weather towards the greenmarket. This unseasonably warm weather of course meant that there were considerably more people there than in the last few months. Regardless, I managed to make my way around them and buy a few goodies to play with, including some heirloom new potatoes. A beautiful mix of red, yellow and purple new potatoes, they were super affordable and are just coming into season. I bought a few more things, then headed along on my merry way to buy a brand new cookbook. After perusing a few titles I settled on Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters, queen of the slow food movement (how appropriate for Earth Day).
It turns out that the book had exciting recipes and ideas for everything I'd bought at the market, so I figured I'd start with the potatoes. I decided to use Waters' method for simultaneous roasting and steaming in the oven, but my own recipe for the ingredients. I took a little inspiration from Scarborough Fair and used parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme to create the seasoning for the potatoes. Since I'd be eating a whole plateful of potatoes I figured I should pair them with something simple like a lovely, fresh (and huge) piece of cod that I picked up from the fishmonger after work. I roasted it in the oven with some of the same spice mixture that I used on the potatoes, along with a few extra turns of the pepper mill. A drizzle of olive oil over the fish and 10 minutes in the oven later and dinner was done. Here's how to make it:
Cod with Roasted New Potatoes
1 large cod fillet
2 cups new potatoes (larger ones cut in half)
3 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp each ground rosemary, thyme, sage and parsley
1/4 cup water
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil, spice mixture (reserving 1/2 tsp for the cod), water, salt and pepper. Place potato mixture on a non-stick baking sheet and cover with foil. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cooked through.
2. Meanwhile, season cod with salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of the spice mixture. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until flaky and cooked through. Top potatoes with cod. Enjoy!