Sunday, May 15, 2011

Baked Fish & Roasted Peppers

Dinner: May 15

Sometimes, I feel lazier than lazy. I was tempted to shove a frozen pizza in the oven and be done with it. So what stopped me today? I bought fish at the grocery store yesterday and it spoke to me. “I will start smelling terrible in a day or two,” the Pacific cod told me when I opened the fridge. “Don’t make me do that.”

Yes, this is what happens when I work too much and have no social life. But it did force me to prepare the recipe for which I purchased the fish. I saw an episode of “Lidia’s Italy” on PBS and just adored the baked whitefish recipe and roasted peppers dish. I had been toying with the idea of roasting peppers for awhile, but it seemed so difficult and potentially fire-inducing. But the combination of the two sounded good, so I bought the ingredients.

I must say that I couldn’t find the roasted pepper recipe online but tried to do it by heart. Consider me as amazed as anyone that it worked! And the fish recipe can be found here on Lidia’s website.

Changes? You betcha! I cut the fish recipe to about 1/3 of its size because I had two cod filets instead of two pounds of fish. I downsized the rest of the recipe to match. But other than that, I pretty much stuck to the details. But let’s start with the peppers.

Basics: Brushed 1 red and 1 yellow pepper with olive oil, baked in 450 degree oven for 45 minutes until softened and blackened. Let cool, peeled skin, opened and removed core and seeds. Sliced in strips. Mixed with sliced garlic clove, splash of olive oil, splash of red wine vinegar, and salt.

Success! It tasted just like the roasted peppers I’ve purchased at the Italian deli. The peeling of the peppers was more difficult than anticipated but a knife helped matters along nicely. They were served with the dressing at room temperature, and I was surprised and impressed by the flavor. It’s a very simple but tasty dish. (Some recipes call for the peppers to be blackened over an open gas stove flame, but I was too scared to start a fire. May attempt that next time.)

Now for the fish. Another very simple process.

Basics: Combined fresh lemon juice, olive oil, white wine, salt, and sliced garlic cloves in a bowl. Whisked, coated the fish in it, and poured in baking dish. Added fish. In another bowl, combined bread crumbs, parsley, lemon zest, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and olive oil. Spread mixture over fish. Baked uncovered in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

That was some delicious fish! I’m not a huge whitefish fan, as I’m afraid of dryness. But I tried the Pacific cod (on sale, of course), and this recipe made it one of the tastiest fish dishes I’ve ever eaten. The red pepper flakes and lemon zest seemed to give it the most zing, and the mixture in the baking dish along with the garlic made the fish very tender and flavorful. I highly recommend this for a quick fish meal - healthy and unexpectedly wonderful!

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