Thank you, Fine Cooking. Thank you, friend Lyle, for the gift of the Fine Cooking subscription years ago. And thank you innate male awkwardness for ensuring that he’d rather just renew the subscription each year than think of another intimate gift for his buddy, Michael.
Seasonality is the newest concept in a long line of sources of foodie scorn. And like food that is local and natural, seasonal food is important, but for reasons of practicality, not philosophy or stratification. Oranges taste better during orange season. And they’re cheaper. And the selection is better. So… win-win-win.
Pictured is a simple orange salsa, as per the magazine recipe. I won’t reproduce it because I really enjoy the mag and don’t want to snipe their massive readership, even with my meager one. Ever since I got Nuevo Salsa from Elizabeth I get really excited by the proper application of a solid salsa (read: an unblended sauce). I can’t *quite* remember what fish it was, but I think it was tilapia. Some blank slate from the sea, anyway.
I braised the French lentils in stock after rendering a quarter pound of delicious pancetta and then sauteeing the mis en place. The pork fat added a whole other level to the dish, and a splash of my secret ingredient (white balsamic vinegar, more on this later) was the coup de grace. This was a wonderful, flavorful meal and pretty healthy too.
PS- I feel obligated to menti0n that one of the nice things about living along the CT coast is consistently decent fish. Shout out to Maurice, my Stop and Shop fish guy. I love you Mo!!!