September 14, 2011

Puttanesca-esque Baked Cod for a School Night {Naptime Everyday}

Cod

What’s Going on Today: Regular school day, laundry, school activities sign-up!

School Day Goals: Make Puttanesca sauce, prepare for big birthday announcement tomorrow!

Tonight’s Menu: Puttanesca-esque baked cod over couscous, wine, no dessert in preparation for birthday cake tomorrow!

Eureka, we are back in our school routine! My daughter is back to attending pre-school on a regular schedule and I am back to cooking while she is at school. Most days she comes home and has some quiet time (and often falls asleep) after school, so naptime is still hanging around a bit, though the length of her school day is more than enough time for me to happily cook and work as I want. In fact, I’ve been working a lot on my “official” website launch and the commencement of a huge birthday-themed project will begin tomorrow! In light of setting this up, I decided to turn to a faster dinner recipe this week which is where this delicious, simple baked cod came in.

While she was at school I made my favorite simple puttanesca sauce. There is hardly anything to it and it can be used for quite a number of dishes. If you are stocking your fall freezer double the recipe below and freeze half. Lord knows I am still doing that after we ate everything out of ours in anticipation of an Irene-enforced power outage! (Which never happened, but we made sure no food would have gone bad if it had!) If you are a bedtime chef you can even make this sauce the night before and pop it in the fridge until the next day.

After the sauce was made I turned off the heat and let it rest on the stovetop for the afternoon while I attended to other things. Right before dinner I spread a light layer over the cod, generously heaping the olives and capers onto the fish for extra flavor, and baked it up in no time. I served each portion on a bed of couscous to soak up all the yummy sauce, it was so flavorful I didn’t want any to go to waste! The flakey fish was infused with a gorgeous sauce that was briny, salty and sweet all at once. Best of all, since I only used half the sauce I’ll have the rest to use for ragu next week!

Recipe

Puttanesca Baked Cod

Ingredients

12 ounces fresh cod (about 6 ounces per person)
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
3 olive oil packed anchovies
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1/3 cup pitted nicoise olives, roughly chopped
28 ounces crushed tomatoes

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a large skillet heat the olive oil and cook the garlic and red pepper flakes for one minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Then add the anchovies and stir until they begin to break down. Pour in the capers and olives and gently stir them in.

3. Pour in the tomatoes and the pepper and bring the liquid to a low simmer, stirring everything together. Allow it to simmer slowly for about 10 minutes.

4. Place the fish in a baking dish and spoon enough sauce over it to cover it completely. Bake for about 20 minutes or until it flakes under a fork. Serve over fresh couscous!

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

The sauce is so delicious that it is important to serve it with a side that will absorb and retain all the flavor. We love plain couscous, but orzo or rice would work well!

Naptime Stopwatch

30 minutes for the sauce, 20 minutes for baking.

Naptime Reviews

A hit all around, though my daughter is not a huge fan of fish so she stuck with the couscous and sauce!