Eight Minutes, Nine Bucks
I had the biggest, most beautiful pastured chicken on earth thawing in a roasting pan. We had another unseasonably rainy day and I was dreaming of a cosy dinner with juicy white meat paired with our favorite cranberry sauce, the lovely little "oysters," one for me and one for he and perfectly roasted skin sprinkled with herbs - we love, love, love roast chicken.
The problem was that the darn thing was so big that it didn't thaw in time for dinner! So, we popped it in the fridge for tomorrow and went out to choose one of the 14 possible restaurants in our tiny town.
First, to the farmer's market, which is held on a blocked-off main street in the village each Wednesday, to buy fruits and veggies for the coming days. After hitting the berry, cherry, mushroom and greengrocer vendors, I noticed that there was a tent called "Zen Grill" down the far end of the row. As I walked along behind the tent, the cook stepped out and slapped the prettiest piece of fresh salmon I've seen in quite some time onto his sizzling hot grill. Needless to say, I hurried around to the front to read the menu, hoping the salmon wasn't just for the stallholder's dinner.
It wasn't. Oh, heaven! I ordered two plates and was told to stroll around for eight minutes, which I did, snagging a sample of Catahoula coffee, a new addition to the market, from the owner as I passed by.
Eight minutes later, I collected our plates and headed back up the hill to dinner chez nous. The salad was fresh, the rice uninspired (what a land office business they could do if they'd offer Massa rice instead!) and the salmon was perfectly grilled with a nice spicing of pepper and salt and something else I can't quite identify. The outside was nearly crisp but the inside was moist and just changing texture to the just-barely-cooked. The flakes of fish came easily apart but were no longer gelatinous - in other words, done to a turn.
All this for $9. They even gave a slice or two of lemon along with a bright smile and a "Thank you!" A bargain by any measure on a day when it poured with rain and then cleared just as the market started.
Labels: Point Richmond