Last weekend, I went to the town of Coventry, up above Hartford, both to visit their Farmer’s Market, which was said to be impressive, and to watch a movie, The Greenhorns.
The market was indeed impressive, especially considering this is now Winter. Even larger than my Litchfield market.
The movie discussed getting into farming, continuing farming traditions that have been lost, and doing this the old-fashioned, real farming ways. There were also segments devoted to urban and small lot farming. It’s not a glitzy movie, and that’s ducky with me. It’s these small farms (at least relatively speaking) that will be bringing those of us who care back to Real Food. Besides, I want to be there, myself, someday soon.
The photo is of my take from the market. I typically don’t drink much juice, but the cider is un-pasteurized, which you don’t find all that often, even with independent orchards. I’m not entirely sure of the health benefits one way or the other when it comes to apples, but I figured I’ll give it a go. (And someone earlier today just informed me that regular apple juice contains unacceptable amounts of asbestos, a bit of data which requires further research on my part.) The bagged thing in the center is from a seller named “Boxed Goodies”, and it is a Thai rice-based congee, which while I limit rice, I figure I want to try. Otherwise: we have turnips and celeriac and a little white package: fish.
Yes, finally a farmer’s market with seafood, pretty much caught along the New England seacoast. I bought a fillet of bluefish and some skate.
I’ve bought skate in the past in the supermarket, always with the cartilage intact. This skate, for a very reasonable price, had the cartilage removed in advance. So, all I paid for last weekend was the edible bits.
Skate is a relative to the ray, a flat sea-dwelling denizen, officially a fish but it doesn’t look very fish-like. If you’d like to learn more about them, this site is promising: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/education/questions/raybasics.html
The edible part is the wing of the skate. Well, perhaps more is, but that’s where the majority of the flesh is.
Some skate, cartilage removed in advance
Extra virgin olive oil
A splash of unrefined toasted sesame oil
Take a skillet, heat up the oils medium high, but closer to medium.
Add the skate and the oregano and pepper, after the skillet heats up.
Cook 4-5 minutes, flip. Cook another four minutes (adding more oregano and pepper to the other side, as desired).
Serve, with a quick dash of lemon juice from a portion of a fresh lemon.
** I would have bought more skate, but the last time I bought it at a supermarket, it was tainted with ammonia flavor. Indeed, I only bought it this time because of the presentation, without the cartilage. But seriously, if you can find truly FRESH skate like this was… DO IT. It’s a tender, light, and succulent seafood — and if you do find a good, fresh source, dealing with the cartilage if you have to is merely an inconvenience, and should not put you off this food source.**