Lots of food and drink related activity this first weekend in our new home, as we embarked on our first Providence food safari to supplement the goodies we moved up from Brooklyn. We had beautiful weather, which made for more enjoyable wandering, and which also meant we were eager to unpack the grill and put it to use.
We kicked off Friday night with a round of cocktails and a delicious grilled chicken rubbed with lemon and herbs and loads of fresh garlic. While Mike took charge of the bird, I cleaned and steamed some artichokes and whipped up a garlicky lemon vinaigrette to serve on top. It was a simple meal, but it was light and tasty, and was made even better by the wine recommended to us by the guys at Eno downtown: Marc Kreydenweiss Partager Avec Toi Gewurtztraminer from Alsace.
A big priority on Saturday was to check out the wintertime farmers’ market at AS220, and were we ever glad we did. Though the space was small and the number of stalls was limited, we brought home something from just about everyone there, and have been happily eating our way through that bounty of local goodness.
The oysters we enjoyed pre-dinner from Matunuck Oyster Farm were fantastic, the greens for our salad and the fresh asparagus were delicious, but the star of Saturday dinner was this beautiful grass-fed ribeye from Simmons Farm. Bathed in a quick marinade and grilled to perfection, it was one of the most flavorful steaks we’ve had in a long time.
We want to get back into the habit of having seafood dinners on Sundays, so we took a trip to our nearby Whole Foods to see what they had to offer. Though I had never cooked with it before Sunday, the beautiful Arctic Char fillets that were on special caught my eye, so I picked one up. Arctic Char is a good choice as far as sustainability goes, and with salmon stocks in such peril, this seemed like a good opportunity to try an alternative.
I went fairly simple with the preparation, seasoning the fillets with sea salt and olive oil and searing them in a hot pan until they were just cooked through. I made a pesto of sorts with a big bunch of spring onions from the farmers’ market and a healthy amount of Meyer lemon juice, and served the fish on a bed of creme fraiche-enriched mashed new potatoes, finishing with a dollop of the spring onion pesto. The flesh of the char is very mild and buttery tasting, and the brightness of the pesto was a nice contrast.