Poached Cod with Tomato and White Beans

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I haven’t been blogging for a few days but I have been cooking.  A couple of nights ago I made poached cod.  We love fish and tomato dishes and this fits the bill for both.  Cod is a mild fish available in most grocery stores.  In the fish counter or the freezer.  Either will work fine for this dish.  Unless I have fish that was just caught, cleaned and ready for cooking I soak my fish in milk for at least 30 minutes.

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I am convinced that this takes away the fishy smell that turns some people off to eating fish.  Making sure you don’t over cook your fish also keeps the fish odors to a minimum.  I know people who absolutely refuse to cook fish at home because of the smell.  When I make this dish people walking into my house are more likely to say they smell onion and garlic.  Everyone loves the smell of onion and garlic!

Ingredients:

1 cod filet (approximately one pound)

2 T olive oil

1 medium yellow onion diced

3 or 4 cloves of garlic sliced

1 pint diced tomatoes

1 cup chicken broth

1 can tomato sauce

1/4 cup capers drained

1/4 cup kalamata olives sliced

1 can cannelloni beans

salt and pepper to taste

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Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Cook the onions until they are tender but not browned.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute until the garlic is fragrant.

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Reduce the heat and stir in the tomatoes and the chicken broth.  Add the tomato sauce and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

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Stir in the capers and olives.  Drain and rinse the beans and add those.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.

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Pat the fish that you’ve soaked in milk dry. Cut it into serving size pieces and immerse the fish in the tomato broth.  Cover the pan and allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes until the fish is cooked through and flakes.  Remove from the heat.  Serve the fish, along with the broth and beans, over rice.

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One of my favorite fish dishes.

NOTE:  You could also add the cooked rice to the tomato broth, break up the fish pieces and serve this as a soup.  However you choose to serve it I think you will find it homey and very satisfying.

If you like kicked up favors you could add some red pepper flakes and/or cayenne pepper when you add the olives and capers.

Chicken Piccata

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Chicken cooked in a sauce of lemon, parsley and butter.  And, in my interpretation, a few other ingredients. Yesterday was a snowy winter day and even though we weren’t snowed in, today was a great stay at home day watching cooking shows and HGTV.  I had taken a chicken breast out of the freezer and was inspired to make the piccata because of a dish I saw prepared on The Chew today. On the Chew the chicken was marinaded in lemon juice, grilled and then topped with a mixture of parsley, garlic, capers, and olive oil. Sounded wonderful.

Ingredients:

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced thin

2 T olive oil

4 T butter, divided

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest

3/4 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup capers rinsed and chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic sliced thin

1/4 cup parsley chopped

salt and pepper to taste

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Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil has heated add 1 T of butter to the skillet. Dredge the chicken in the flour or put in a zip lock bag and shake to coat. Cook the chicken a couple minutes per side and set aside on a platter. Continue until all of the chicken has been lightly browned. You don’t want to over cook the chicken.

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Once the chicken is done add the chicken broth, lemon juice, capers, 1T of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley to the skillet.

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Scrape up any browned bits in the skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken back into the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes.

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Remove the chicken to a platter or casserole dish. Add the remaining 3T of butter to the sauce and pour over the chicken.

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I served the chicken with quinoa cooked in chicken broth with a bit of garlic and kale cooked with dried cherries. Proved to be a great combination of tastes!  It’s what was for dinner tonight.

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NOTE:  It’s easiest to thin slice your chicken breasts if they are still slightly frozen.

Angel Hair Pasta with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

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This weekend we had very special friends visit from out of town. Pasta dishes are always favorites with them so I decided to make pasta two ways. Two ways that were both new recipe interpretations for me which is only a safe thing to do if your guests love you unconditionally. One pasta was a red dish, the other was white. One was meatless, the other had sausage. Both of them turned out very well. I’m going to share the meatless red here. Angel hair pasta with oven roasted tomatoes…it’s what was for dinner and again for lunch the next day.

 

This recipe is only something you’ll want to try if you will be home all afternoon and if you love the smell of roasting garlic and tomato. Everyone who walked in that afternoon commented on the strong aroma of garlic.  You could roast the tomatoes without the garlic but the flavor would not be the same.  The first part of this dish is the time consuming part…not a lot of work, just time.

Get ready to roast your tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 350 with the racks in the top third of the oven. I combined different kinds of tomatoes…Romas, beefsteak, and small heirloom tomatoes.

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Slice the romas and the beefsteaks. Leave the cherry/grape tomatoes whole. Put the tomatoes in a large bowl, add 1/2 cup of olive oil and toss the tomatoes to coat. Spread them out in a single layer on jelly roll pans. Peel and smash a dozen or so cloves of garlic and distribute between the two pans of tomatoes. Lightly salt. Turn the oven down to 225 and put the tomatoes in. Roast them for six hours switching the position of the pans after three hours.

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I told you this process was not at all difficult. It won’t take long and the garlic aromas will begin to permeate the kitchen. These tomatoes are so yummy. You won’t ever want to buy sundried, jarred tomatoes again. Throw the garlic away. It will be tough. The flavors have married the tomatoes and olive oil.

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Now for the pasta sauce.

3 cups of oven roasted tomatoes (rough chop slices)

2-3 cloves of garlic thin sliced

5-6 anchovy filets

2 T olive oil

1 tsp crushed red pepper

2 T tomato paste

1 pint jar diced tomatoes

20 or so kalamata olives coarsely chopped

10 or so large green olives coarsely chopped

3 T capers

fresh grated asiago cheese

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Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot and cook pasta according to package instructions.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet. Briefly sauté the garlic slices. Add the anchovy filets and sauté until they melt into the oil. Add the pepper flakes and tomato paste. Add the chopped tomatoes, the olives and capers, and the oven roasted tomatoes. Simmer until thoroughly heated.

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Combine the sauce and pasta and toss. Add a half cup or so of the pasta water if necessary. Top with fresh grated asiago cheese. Serve with a tossed salad and some crusty bread.

If you have more than three cups of oven roasted tomatoes there are any number of uses for them in addition to just eating them straight up. They would be great in an omelet, on a sandwich, in a salad. I used the tomatoes I had left tonight when I roasted a pork loin with Brussels sprouts and baby Yukon gold potatoes. I added them to the vegetables when the cook time was almost up.