Local Catch: Sea Bass

~Molly & Jamie At the Green Market~

From Food Stylist Molly:

Flipping through the channels recently, I stopped on the Discovery Channel and watched an incredibly depressing show about the harmful effects of industrialized commercial fishing. After 60 minutes of this program, I vowed never to eat canned tuna again! But all in all, it left you feeling slightly optimistic and made some great suggestions about how to purchase seafood while keeping in mind sustainability. For all you tuna lovers, look for tins with the Certified Sustainable Seafood label (www.msc.org) for tuna that is pole caught. For the rest of your seafood needs, buying things that are caught locally makes a world of difference.

In this spirit, Jamie and I wandered down to the Greenmarket to see what our local fishmonger had on hand. Some beautiful local Sea Bass caught our eye, so we bought them whole and brought them home to fillet. We also picked up some baby carrots and a head of cauliflower to cook along with our fish. It might look like a lot of work, but this is actually an incredibly simple, fast dinner. Once you get everything ready to cook, it comes together in no time!

Feel free to use whatever fresh, local fish you’re able to find. You should be able to cook it just the same, but keep in mind that the cooking time may vary.

To fillet:

1. Make a deep cut just behind gills until you hit bone behind the head of the fish.

2. Run the tip of your knife along the spine, cutting about 1/4 inch deep all the way down to the tail. 

3. Starting back at the top of the fillet where the first incision was made, slide your knife under the fillet and work your way across the belly and down to the tail. Make long smooth strokes, using the bones as a guide. You want your knife to graze the bones so you’ll come out with a beautiful, smooth fillet.

4. Continue these long cuts until you have fully made your way under the fillet. Run your knife through the bottom of the tail, fully severing the fillet from the fish. Turn the fish over and repeat on the other side.

Refrigerate until ready for use. Bones may be discarded or saved to make fish stock.

Cauliflower Puree:

Cut one head of cauliflower into florets. Over high heat, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until fork tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and place in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep in a warm place until ready for use.

Sauteed Carrots:

Wash and scrub two bunches of baby carrots (if you’re using regular carrots: peel, halve and slice the carrots into 2 inch pieces). Heat a saute pan over medium-high. Add a couple glugs of olive oil, enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the carrots and cook, only turning occasionally, until lightly charred and just tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm until ready for use.

Sea Bass:

Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add a couple glugs of olive oil, enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan (you know the drill). Season the fillets on both sides with salt. Cooking in batches, place the fillets flesh side down and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes per side (however, cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your fillets).

Dollop some pureed cauliflower on a dinner plate. Place the sea bass over the cauliflower and add a generous serving of sauteed carrots. Eat immediately!

~ Recipe and words by Food Stylist, Molly Shuster. Photography FromMeToYou.

An ongoing collaboration, please do see more recipes from our series!

Acorn Squash Tortellini

~Molly & Jamie At the Green Market~

From Food Stylist Molly:

Fall just might be my favorite time of year. It’s the New Englander in me! I love the leaves’ changing colors and the crunch of the fallen ones beneath my feet; the clear sunny days and cool nights; temperature perfect for boots and tights and scarves. I think it’s the absolute best time for the farmer’s market as well. There is a huge range of delicious choices being harvested: apples, pears, squash, kale, Rocambole garlic (the hard-neck variety) and the remainders of summer such as tomatoes, lettuce and peppers.

For me, the best part is seeing all the amazing varieties of squash and pumpkins that are available. They come in so many shapes, colors and textures. There is something whimsical and fantastic about them. Most recipes you see call for butternut squash, but I encourage you to try some of the other varieties. One of my favorite is acorn squash. Much like butternut, acorn squash is widely available and has a sweet, nutty flavor.

We’ve roasted our acorn squash to act as the base for our tortellini filling. As always, I encourage you to roast the seeds. Sprinkle them with a little sea salt and roast at 300 until crisp! They will make the perfect snack while you’re working away on your pasta and tortellini.

Acorn Squash Tortellini


•2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting

•3 eggs, room temperature

Measure your flour and pour onto a clean, dry surface. Make a large well in the center, keeping the walls of flour about 2” thick.

Crack the eggs into the well and carefully start beating the eggs with a fork. Gradually start mixing more flour into the eggs. If you think you’ll make a mess (as I have done many times before) feel free to do this process in a large mixing bowl.

Once you have a thick paste, begin to work the mixture with your hands, incorporating as much flour into the dough as it allows.

Knead the dough for about ten minutes, dusting with flour as you go, until you have a smooth, rather firm ball of dough.

Wrap the dough with saran wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.


•1 medium acorn squash (should yield about 1 1/2 cups roasted squash)

•olive oil

•2 cloves garlic, minced

•2 shallots, very finely diced

•2 tablespoons cream

•2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

•1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

•3/4 teaspoon salt

•few grinds of fresh cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Halve the acorn squash and scoop out the seeds (reserving, if you would like to roast them separately). Brush the exposed flesh with olive oil. Place flesh-side down on a baking tray and roast for 25-35 minutes, or until very tender.

In a small sauté pan, gently sweat the garlic and shallots with a bit of olive oil over low heat until tender… about 5 minutes.

Scoop the roasted squash into a mixing bowl and discard the skin.

Add the garlic-shallot mixture along with the remaining ingredients. Mix well and set aside.

Back to the dough!

When it has fully rested, cut the dough in half. Wrap the second piece of dough until it is ready for use. Flatten the dough with your hands so that it will easily feed into the rollers. Starting on the largest setting, begin rolling the dough. Fold the dough back on itself a few times and switch the direction in which you feed the dough through the rollers. This will help create a smooth, strong pasta. Once you feel good about your dough, fold your pasta into thirds and flatten. Run the pasta through the rollers twice. Then adjust your roller to the next setting, rolling the pasta through each level until you reach the last setting. If the pasta sheet becomes too long to manage, cut in half.

Lay the finished pasta sheets on a baking tray lined with a clean kitchen towel. Make sure that there is a layer of cloth between each sheet of pasta. The sheets stick together very easily. Also, be sure to keep them well covered! The fresh pasta will become brittle and dry very quickly if left exposed.

Once you have rolled all of your dough, you’re ready to start making the tortellini! Have a small cup of water handy.

Working one sheet at a time, cut the dough into 3”x3” squares (I used a fluted pastry wheel).

Place a small scoop of prepared filling into the center of each square.

Dip your finger into the cup of water and brush two sides of the square.

Fold in half to make a triangle and seal the edges.

Fold the two bottom points of the triangle together and seal together with another small brush of water.

While you’re working, put a large pot of salted water up to boil. If you’re not cooking your tortellini right away, I recommend freezing them. I think it is the best way to store them. Otherwise they can get soggy and stick to one another very easily. Just be sure to lightly dust the tortellini and layer them gently in a Tupperware container.

Once your tortellini have been made, start the sauce just a few minutes before cooking them.

Butter Sauce:

(adapted from Giorgio Locatelli’s, Made in Italy)

•1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes

•1 shallot, finely diced

•1/4 cup white wine

•2 tablespoons heavy cream

•salt and pepper, to taste

Melt a pad of butter in a small sauté pan. Add the diced shallot and cook over low heat until tender. Turn up the heat and add the white wine. Boil until it has reduced by about two-thirds. Lower the heat slightly and add the heavy cream. Slowly start incorporating the remaining butter, whisking as you go. The sauce should start to thicken and become light and creamy. Don’t let this mixture boil or your sauce will break! Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready for use.

Cook the tortellini in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. Serve with the butter sauce and top with a small sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg, grated Parmesan and chopped chives.

~ Recipe and words by Food Stylist, Molly Shuster. Photography by me.

An ongoing collaboration, please do see more recipes from our series!

Urban Farmers Market

The hustle and bustle of Manhattan’s Union Square Farmers Market overflows with fresh caught fish, seasonal fruits and veggies, a bouquet of beautiful flowers, New Yorkers buying their daily bread and even some local filming to spread the word to eat healthy and local.

One of the best farmers markets websites available for NYC is What is Fresh
It’s a resource I use almost every time I go out to the greenmarket. They provide information on where the markets are throughout NYC, at what times of week, the farmers attending and what is for sale specifically at that market. 

If you love food, recipes, farm tours and interviews follow their enriching blog! 

Images from a Weekend~

A visit to the Union Square farmer’s market, a stop by The Strand to look at gardening books, a walk through Fishs Eddy, planting a new herb garden on our stoop, a homemade roast and reading The Bell Jar I found at a thrift store for $3… why can’t it always be the weekend?

All images were shot with my Minolta SRT101 & Fuji 160 film

Molly & Jamie~ At the Green Market

~ Story and styling by Chef & Food Stylist, Molly Shuster. Photography by me.

From the Chef:

For my 25th birthday, I went on a trip to Paris. Yes, this makes me just about the luckiest girl there is and my experience in France was only confirmation of that fact. I fell in love with Paris- the food, the city, the people, the pastries! All of these were enough to make me consider packing my bags and staying for good.
Of all the wonderful food I had while in Paris, nothing quite compared to the incredible cheese that could be found throughout the city. Virtually all the cheese in France comes from small local dairies. The variety was astounding, as were the myriad differences in color, texture, age, smell and taste.

Dinner in France inevitably includes hours of laughter and conversation with friends, fresh bread, multiple bottles of delicious cheap wine, and a cheese course to finish the meal. Offering anywhere from 3-6 varieties, the cheese course quickly became a favorite part of my Parisian suppers. Happily, this is a tradition I can practice anywhere.

Unlike in the US, cheese in France is made with unpasteurized milk. All American milk is required by law to undergo pasteurization due to health laws. While this inevitably makes for a different kind of cheese, there are American dairy farms using traditional methods to produce beautiful, artisanal dairy products. Next time you are at your local farmer’s market, check out all the different varieties being offered.

An ongoing collaboration, please do see more recipes from our series!