Catching Up on the Backlog 2: Scalloped Tomatoes

So I have to ask, do you feel as unfulfilled as I do?  OK, don’t answer that.

It’s just that this “recipe and nothing but the recipe”  thing isn’t quite working like I thought it would.  I’m not really able to put things up that quickly, AND I miss what we used to have together.  Again, if you’re OK with the new gig we have going on, just don’t hurt my feelings and keep it to yourself.

Seriously though, I think we’ll just power through one more post after this one and chalk it up to a lesson learned.  We will then return to our regular programming and I’ll get new things up as I can.  After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

But for today’s quickie, let’s just say I am overrun with tomatoes!  They come abundantly in my weekly produce box and they have been coming abundantly from our own little backyard garden.  I’ve done soups, BLTs galore, tartes, quiches, salads, and I’m just about tomato-ed out.  But this recipe for Scalloped Tomatoes added another dimension to our tomato life just when I thought I had covered every possible angle to this red headed beauty (yes, we’re partial to the red around here).  It’s really like a hot panzanella and very tasty.

I started with an assortment of red and yellow tomatoes (mostly yellow, really) and a big bunch of basil (also from our backyard mini garden).

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Then I cubed up a little over half of a French baguette (yep, partial to the French stuff too!).

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I heated some olive oil in a large skillet and tossed in the baguette.  I cooked over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the bread cubes were evenly browned.

After that I added in some garlic, the tomatoes, and a bit of sugar.   I cooked that mixture for about 5 minutes longer, removed from the heat, seasoned with salt and pepper, and tossed in the basil.

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I poured the whole thing into a 9×13 baking dish and covered generously with Parmesan cheese.  I then drizzled a little olive oil the top.  I had an extra special olive oil keeper just for this very special drizzling step in the recipe!

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I baked the whole deal at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes until the top was nice and bubbly and golden.

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I served it up with some lemon garlic peas followed by a simple green salad. Quick, Easy, & Yummly.

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Here’s the complete recipe for Scalloped Tomatoes, adapted from Food52.

The Hubs Loves His Fish – Baked Rockfish with Tomato Caper Sauce

The hubs really loves fish of any kind.  I wasn’t as big of a fish admirer before we were married, but I guess I’ve morphed over time.  Salmon is a no brainer for me and I make a mean halibut.  Occasionally tuna sneaks onto the menu. And from time to time swordfish.  But I have to admit (after a couple of glasses of wine when I’m being brutally honest with myself), that there is still some intimidation factor for me when it comes to preparing fish.  I can’t put my finger on it, but I think it has to do with feeling that fish requires a much more precise cooking time.  And let’s face it, when fish is gross, it’s just plain gross and there’s not much that came be done to gussy it up.

That’s why I love this recipe that I came across recently.  It was written forsSole and the sauce also contained fennel.  I make it with rockfish, because that’s what my Costco has in stock quite regularly and it’s REALLY reasonably priced. I have made the sauce with fennel and it is lovely that way.  But if you’re like me, you probably don’t just have a fennel bulb kicking around in the fridge.  So I love this recipe in its modified format for  2 reasons: 1) it’s baked and my fish  intimidation factor gets knocked down a notch 2) it contains stuff that I normally have on hand.

So I start by  just chopping an onion and sauteeing it in some olive oil.  I add a little garlic once the onion starts to turn golden.  Then I add a can of diced tomatoes and their juices along with some white wine.  Finally, I throw in some capers and season with some salt and pepper.  I tame the capers a bit by rinsing them well before adding them.  Otherwise their taste can be a bit overpowering and the little palates of the house aren’t exactly caper fans in their un-rinsed state.

fish tom sauce

capers

If you wish to do the fennel version of the sauce, you can just sautee the fennel right along with the onion.

After the sauce is done, transfer it to the bottom of a shallow, wide baking dish.  I use the old 9×13 casserole dish.

Then take your fish filets and roll them.  Place them on top of the sauce.  To finish things off, mix together some dry bread crumbs, softened butter and salt and pepper.  Place a nice dollop of this breadcrumb mixture right in the center of each fish roll.

fish before baking

Now sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of white wine around the fish (not on it) and into the sauce. Bake the whole thing at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.

cooked fish

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

For the full recipe, click here.