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Archive for October 14th, 2009

Dinner without pictures

This post goes against my personal blogging rules.  I didn’t take any pictures of the meal I am about to describe, so I am going to try to paint a verbal picture and see if I can get my point across.

Yesterday was one of the first rainy, almost-winter days that happen in fall in Portland.  It was damp, verging on, but not quite, raw.  When I got home I was tired and chilled.  I turned on the fireplace and upped the heat and started thinking about dinner.

I knew that S had gotten some Pacific Black Cod the other day, as well as some of my favorite Padron peppers from Viridian Farms.  After flipping through some of our fishy cookbooks, I settled on a recipe for Cod with Roasted Garlic.  Luckily the peppers came with instructions.  Wide egg noodles seemed like a good choice for another side dish.

The fish required the most preparation.  In my usual fashion, I used the recipe (from Leith’s Fish Bible) as a starting point, largely ignoring it once I got started.  I peeled about 15 heads of garlic and set them to roast in about 1/2 cup of good olive oil in a 400 degree oven.  Once that was underway, I seasoned some all-purpose flour with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and crushed aleppo pepper.  I rinsed the Cod fillet (it was a nice thick piece) and sprinkled it with salt and pepper before dredging it in the flour mixture.

Once the garlic was soft, I removed it from the oil.  Making sure the oil was good and hot (I actually put it back into the oven to reheat it a bit) I slid the fillet into the oil and put it in the oven.  After about 3 minutes, I flipped the fish and left it to poach in the oil for another 8 minutes.  I arranged the roasted garlic cloves and some lemon slices around the edges of a small platter and laid the oil-poached fillet in the middle.

While all of that was going on, I heated some more olive oil in a small, non-stick skillet, added the Padron peppers and some salt and sauted them all until they were just starting to brown and blister.  I tossed them into a bowl and took them to the table.

The wide egg noodles were cooked until just done and tossed with even more olive oil and some of my favorite harissa, a little sweeter than many but with just the right amount of heat.

Served with a bottle of Ayres Oregon Pinot Noir it was a lovely meal, perfect for a rainy October night.  Sorry I didn’t get any pictures!

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