My goal for the fall and winter is to get all of my freezers cleaned out. To cook the various and sundry frozen goodies that have languished in there for far too long. The extra refrigerator in the basement is where we store big stuff. It's freezer is packed. The big freezer in the garage is full of cat food and homemade chicken stock and freezer packs and nuts and meats with a shelf of assorted sauces and soups. Then, there's the "freezer" that's part of my refrigerator in the kitchen. Roasted garlic, frozen chopped spinach and broccoli, frozen blueberries and peaches and strawberries and cherries and who knows what else.
On our way to the office from the farmer's market I made a list of what I need to use up: apples, pears, peaches, cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, cantaloupe, spinach, eggplant, tomatillos, jalapenos and pepperocini (by the dozen from our garden,) lamb burgers, chicken breasts, cod, catfish, most of a can of pumpkin, mascarpone cheese, pastrami.
The apples are destined for Mrs. Huber's apple butter. It's the best we've ever had - bar none. The pears will become pear ketchup - What She's Having has what looks like a great recipe on her blog. Just a side note - who doesn't giggle at one of the funniest lines EVER from a movie. The jalapenos and pepperocini are going to be pickled. The peaches will be peach vanilla bourbon jam from Blondie's Cakes.
I bought some extra tomatoes to make gazpacho. I've already got the cucumbers and onions at the ready. The cherry tomatoes with go into a quinoa salad and also into a pasta sauce. We'll be home for dinner on Saturday, Sunday and Thursday this week. Monday, I've got a Kappa fall kickoff dinner. Tuesday, I've got a Financial Planning Association meeting and Wednesday Connie plays bridge. So, I'll want to fix plenty of leftovers for the one left at home alone to eat. Friday the Girls Night Out crew is coming over for a pitch-in cookout. Three dinners and about 150 ideas. I guess it's a good thing that we eat lunch at the office every day so I can use up some of this produce!!
Tentatively then, our menu for dinners this week is:
Chicken with brie and pear ketchup, greek salad
Cod piccata, ratatouille
Ravioli stuffed with mushroom pesto with cherry tomato mushroom sauce - Ok, it WAS going to be mushroom pesto but someone finished it for lunch today. He was so excited when he saw it in the refrigerator at the office that I didn't have the heart to say that was for the ravioli... Not to worry, I'll come up with another filling.
Last week we had a wonderful meal with cod that I'm having leftover for lunch today. The cod piccata will finish up a bag of cod - yesss!
So, you're probably wondering if I'm ever going to get around to the cod recipe. Yup, right now. We'd gotten home late (no surprise there, eh?) and I didn't have time to fix any of the ideas I'd jotted down for the week. Hmm, what's first to get used up? Cod. What area of the country is famous for cod? Cape Cod, of course. And, since we go visit Auntie Barbara's house there, I've naturally picked up a couple of Cape Cod cookbooks. Score in the first one -The Cape Cod Cookbook by Jerome Rubin. Easy, very healthy, flavorful. This recipe is a keeper. I made it almost exactly as the recipe was written and can't think of a single change I'd make. Reheated for lunch it was equally good. It's very pretty and would undoubtedly make a lovely company dish also. I'm certain canned tomatoes wouldn't be as good as the fresh ones were but we'll be using those during the winter because this will be a regular - or as regular as any dish is in our home!!
1 pound cod (I used it frozen but thawed is ok)
2 large tomatoes, sliced into 4-6 slices each
1 green pepper, sliced into VERY thin rings
1 lemon sliced into 6 slices
Heat the olive oil until it's shimmering. Add the cod and saute for a couple of minutes per side.
Sprinkle with the salt and shallot pepper. Or, you can use plain pepper and add a bit of garlic powder. Cover the cod with the green pepper rings.
Then, cover those with the tomatoes.
Dust with the dried oregano. Place the lemon slices around the pan.
Cover and cook on medium heat for about 12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
Adapted from The Cape Cod Cookbook by Jerome Rubin