On March 8th, my friend, Jen was the host of our Thursday Night Bookclub. She made a wonderful dinner of peppers stuffed with a scallop in pesto sauce. I actually can’t eat scallops due to an allergy to them, but was able to eat one of the plain pesto peppers. The dinner Jen made was really good! We all loved it. She had a few salads to go with the stuffed peppers, dinner couldn’t have been better. I told Jen I was going to make the peppers with another fish, and did just that tonight … with cod. Jen mentioned that this would be excellent with salmon as well.
That evening at bookclub, Jen had given me a gift. She bought the prettiest napkins to give me as a birthday gift. I love them! They are black and white and so very pretty. She said she thought I could use them when I blog, which I thought was one of the most thoughtful gifts ever. It is obvious that Jen takes a lot of care into choosing a gift for a friend. When she came to my house for book club, she bought a fabulous hostess gift. It was a jar of dry shampoo for dark hair and an eyeliner that she loves. We had been talking about hair … as many women do … and chatting about the fact that I wash my hair every day and maybe this isn’t so good for your hair. The dry shampoo has the best smell and the fact that it is meant for dark hair is awesome. I was telling Jen that the one and only time I had tried dry shampoo, it was like I had a snow storm on my head. When she came across this particular dry shampoo, she picked it up for me. I thought it was so incredibly thoughtful of Jen to remember this conversation and bring a gift to me that she knew would be perfect. As far as the eyeliner, she knows I like to wear eyeliner and wanted me to try one that she really likes by Benefit. Jen was right on, I love that eye liner! It is one that her mom had bought for her and she wanted to introduce it to me as well. In December, we were at bookclub at our friend, Jen’s (another Jen … we have two Jen’s in a five person bookclub, what are the odds?) house for our meeting. Jen M. brought a hostess gift to Jen H. that was perfect for her. It was a beautiful glass Christmas ornament that was a microphone. Jen H. loves a microphone and loves to speak into one and sing into one … even just to pretend to hold a microphone and talk/sing. She’s so much fun!
Here’s a picture of my new favorite cloth napkins. They go perfectly with my white dinner plates!
I love to use cloth napkins and would never think of using anything but if we have guests at our house for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The first thing I did in preparing tonight’s meal was to place my cod in a square baking dish to marinate. I bought a one pound package of cod pieces from Trader Joe’s. I like to keep this in my freezer so I can use it for fish tacos so happened to have some on hand. I also purchased a 7 ounce container of prepared pesto from Trader Joe’s that I poured over the fish. I let it sit for 45 minutes.
I cut my bell peppers in half and removed the seeds and membrane. I laid them in two baking dishes and drizzled olive oil over the peppers before sprinkling a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper onto them. I then added fresh minced garlic to the peppers and baked them at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, I pulled the peppers out of the oven and added the fish to them and sprinkled freshly shredded parmesan to the peppers.
I placed the dish back into the oven for 30 minutes. The peppers turned out perfectly soft. I served them over angel hair pasta, which was perfect. I let the pesto that had cooked into the peppers seep onto the pasta for just the right amount of sauce. I also had a simple arugula salad, dressed in nothing but olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon. I also squeezed the juice of half a lemon over the peppers as soon as I pulled them out of the oven. It gave the peppers and fish a perfect hint of freshness. I then added freshly shredded parmesan cheese for garnish, along with a shake of red pepper flakes.
- 4 bell peppers (I chose red and yellow)
- 1 pound cod, cut into large pieces
- 7 ounce container prepared pesto
- pinch of kosher salt
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut peppers in half and remove seeds and membrane. Place in large baking dish (or two) and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add minced garlic and bake for 45 minutes.
- Place fish in glass dish and cover with pesto. Let sit while peppers bake.
- Remove peppers from oven after 45 minutes, spoon fish pieces into pepper halves and sprinkle with shredded parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and squeeze fresh lemon juice over fish, along with freshly shredded parmesan and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
- Serve over angel hair pasta, letting juices from peppers drain onto pasta.
Until next time, Kris