Tonight’s supper was really nice – I made three different recipes from three different sources, all for the first time.
The first recipe I started on was for the stuffed bell peppers. This recipe came from the magazine Olive, which is published by BBC in England and is available at the larger bookstores like Barnes & Noble. (The overseas magazines I get each month, like Olive and Good Food from England, and delicious and Donna Hay from Australia are actually less expensive buying them from the bookstore than by getting a subscription.)
My version of the recipe, from the August 2005 issue of Olive for ‘stuffed summer vegetables’ for two people is:
1/2 c. rice, cooked
2 anchovie fillets, chopped pretty finely
4 tbsp pesto
3/4 shallot, chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
2 bell peppers, tops removed, seeds and ribs removed
(the recipe also calls out to add parmesan cheese, sultanas, and to use round courgettes also, but I omitted those items)
Preheat the oven to 400*. Toss a little olive oil in each of the bell peppers and cook them for 10 minutes, then take them out of the oven.
In the meanwhile, mix the cooked rice, anchovies, pesto, shallots, tomato in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. When the bell peppers come out of the oven, fill them with the rice mixture. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes or so.
Tonight’s entree was the recipe for Pompano en Papillote from the Arnaud’s cookbook. I went to the Fish Market earlier today and had a whole pompano cut to make fillets. Here’s my version of the recipe to serve two portions:
1/4 stick of butter (softened, to rub on the parchment paper)
1/4 cup green part only of scallions (green onions)
1/4 stalk celery, cut into little matchstick shapes
4 tsp finely chopped fresh dill
1 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon (tarragon has a distinct licorice flavor)
2 fillets of pompano
salt and pepper
splash of dry white wine
squeeze of fresh lemon
also need: parchment paper, kitchen scissors
Preheat oven to 375*. Cut two pieces of parchment paper into heart shapes, and rub one side of each heart with the softened butter.
Put 1/4 the amount you have of the scallions, celery, dill, and tarragon on the left side of each heart. Put a fillet on top, then cover with the other 1/4 vegetables. Do the same with the other fillet. Splash the white wine and lemon atop the fish, then fold the right side of each heart over and fold to make an air-tight (as possible) seal.
Place each pouch on a baking sheet and bake for 12-16 minutes. The parchment will begin to turn brown, and that’s a sign that it’s cooked enough. Place one pouch onto each supper plate (when you sit down to eat, you’ll just open the pouch and voila! It smells terrific).