Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Un Pequeño Festival de Tapas

I cannot seem to get enough lately of the shows on PBS about the cuisine of Spain. Between "Spain - On the Road Again" and "Made in Spain", I have been immersing myself in the sights and sounds of various regions and their specialized dishes. Everything looks and sounds so delicious. The idea of a trip there to experience it all firsthand is enticing but not likely to happen any time soon.All this watching had me determined to do some cooking and eating a la España - right now, right here in Texas. It was the second weekend of Fall - the temperatures were decidedly cooler in the mornings, and strains of ACL Fest music were wafting in our open windows and doors. It was time, I decided, for un pequeño festival de tapas.
Here are the details:Pomodori al forno
A Spanish style salad with herbed honey, arugula, manchego cheese, pear and marcona almonds.
Warmed olives
Beef and lamb meat balls prepared with arugula pesto and lots of garlic, then browned in olive oil.
More manchego, sharp cheddar and brie, onion marmalade, more almonds, and bruschetta.

I enjoyed figuring out what I wanted to make, and had fun making it. When it came time to eat, I had tasted and tested so often I was nearly full before the feasting even officially began. I learned a few things, I have a new favorite way to make tomatoes  and that is, as they say in Spain, "bastante!".

Fall Pantry Challenge - Honey

If you keep honey around long enough, it may begin to crystallize and become nearly impossible to retrieve from the jar. According to the Honey Board fact sheet, what has happened is that the glucose in the honey has precipitated out of the otherwise supersaturated solution. The glucose loses water and takes the form of a crystal. If this happens on a broad enough scale, the crystals will form a lattice structure which immobilizes the other components in the honey. At this point the honey reaches a semi-solid state whereupon I reach a fit-to-be-tied state.

Trying to get semi-solid honey to flow is problem enough. Getting it out of the typically tiny spout on a honey jar is nearly impossible. What to do? Rather than throwing that honey out, there were classically a couple of easy ways suggested to return that honey back to a more liquid state.

Before microwaves and plastic honey jars become the norm it was suggested to place your glass honey jar into a small saucepan over low heat on your range top. The water protected the jar from the heating element, and the warmed honey returned to its more desireable liquid form.

Now those adorable plastic honey bears or less adorable yet very handy plastic squeeze bottles are everywhere. In the oblivious bad old days, if honey began to thicken in one of your plastic jars, you'd just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds at low heat and hope you melted the honey before you melted the plastic. With what we now know about plastics and what is released when heating plastics in microwaves, that just won't cut it any longer.

So what to do? Are we back to throwing the honey out? What about the dying off of all those bees due to Colony Collapse Disorder? Is it responsible to throw honey out because it is inconvenient to retrieve it when we know we may face a future where honey is a scarce and precious commodity?

Unless you are new here you know I am most certainly not throwing that honey out. These days, if I have at least two tablespoons of honey that has crystallized, even in a plastic jar, I simply heat some water in a small saucepan, remove the saucepan from the heat, and put the honey jar into the very warm water until I can pour or scrape most of the honey out.

Whatever honey I can retrieve I know I must use nearly immediately. Once honey begins to crystallize, it pretty much wants to stay that way. Additionally, heating degrades honey to some extent, so this is a last ditch - use it right now technique.

So there I was with my Fall Pantry Challenge and a jar with semi-solid honey. As I did manage to retrieve two tablespoons or so of honey from the jar, I decided since I was going to be heating the honey anyway, I would go ahead, infuse it with herbs and let that be the base for a dressing as called for in a Spanish style salad I wanted to have as part of a tapas dinner.

Herbed honey is so easy.You gently heat the honey (not a rolling boil like I show here - this was a consequence of my stopping to answer a telephone call- bad timing on my part!),add the herbs,let them sit for a few minutes off the heat, remove the herbs by straining, and use the more complexly flavored sweetener within a day or so.

I used thyme and rosemary from our garden. You can use whatever you'd like, but I'd suggest you either use something you have grown yourself, or herbs that are certified organic. Washing doesn't really do everything you need in this instance. You don't want to steep clean but yet pesticide laden herbs in warmed honey.Herbed honey is an amazing addition to cheese plates. The more aromatic and complicated flavor profile you create for the honey by infusing it with herbs really primes it to hold its own against a creamy cheese.

By the same token, herbed honey makes any salad dressing or sauce calling for honey as an ingredient, more wonderfully complex and flavorful. The salad I had planned features peppery greens, creamy cheese, tart fruit and salty nuts. I knew that herb note added to the honey dressing could take it all to a whole new level of delicious.Here is the salad I used as one of the small plates for our Spanish Tapas feast. I put together baby arugula that I thinned out of our lettuce beds out backand a few leaves of romaine for some extra crunch. I made a dressing out of the juice of one Meyer lemon, two tablespoons of herbed honey and into that I whisked olive oil until the consistency was just what I wanted. I rounded out the salad with chopped pear, manchego cheese cubes, and roasted salted marcona almonds. Due to the saltiness of the cheese and the almonds I only added a bit of freshly ground black pepper to season it prior to tossing.It was muy bueno, compadres. Herbed honey is one of those ultra easy yet impressive techniques to elevate a dish from good to great. I hope you won't wait for your honey to crystallize to try it out for yourself.

The finish line is in sight for the Fall Pantry Challenge. Both √Crystallized honey and the √Meyer Lemon are checked off our list.

Last up? Those sprouting carrots.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mama Mia

I enjoy having a delicious lunch and dinner on Sundays, but I also enjoy a day off from cooking, without that having to necessarily mean eating at a restaurant or resorting to fast food, either one. That is why on Saturdays, a holdover from my "working outside the home for wages" days, I often cook ahead, preparing meals or components of meals I will serve later in the week.

Tonight we are having a tapas type dinner, lots of little plates, one of which will need to feature some meat. Tomorrow I am planning on homemade hot subs, a great meal for game days.

So what fits both meals just right? Meatballs! Here's how I do it. As laid out here, this recipe makes about 30 individual meat balls. While I am finishing off most of the meatballs in tomato sauce cooking ahead for tomorrow's subs, I will hold a handful out of the sauce to serve as a component of our dinner tonight.MEATBALLS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour a large jar of tomato sauce into a 9x13 dish and put it into the oven to warm.

I use David's Brick Oven Italian sauce as my local go-to option. Their sauce is thicker than most so I add in a cup or so of water to get it to the consistency of other commercial jar sauces. It will cook down for 20 minutes while the meatballs finish in the oven and then it cooks down even more tomorrow as the meatballs are reheated for the subs, so that handles the dilution.

Combine a pound of ground beef, a half pound ground lamb (or pork or loose sausage), a container of pesto, 4-5 cloves of finely chopped garlic, a cup of dry bread crumbs, some salt and freshly ground pepper in a large bowl. Mix well and form into one inch meatballs.I just use my hands to do this. If that grosses you out you can use gloves. Nothing works as well as rolling meatballs in between your hands.

The meatballs then go into a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, a few at a time, over medium high heat to brown on both sides in a sauté pan prior to finishing up in the oven.I took the advice of another blogger to slightly smash the meat balls prior to browning. This gives them better surface contact with the heat source and since they are going into a sandwich the thought is they'll be less likely to roll out and distribute tomato sauce on your shirt. Sound thinking.

You don't need to cook the meatballs all the way through. The point is to just brown the meatballs on both sides in order to prep a crunchy brown surface area.After each batch is browned on both sides (about one minute per side per meatball), place the browned meatballs into the hot tomato sauce holding in your preheated oven. After you get the last batch in the pan, set the timer for twenty minutes. That last twenty minutes in the oven will take care of finishing off cooking the meat. Since I had a handful of meatballs I was going to serve without saucing, I browned them a little more just for looks. They went into a separate pan in the oven to finish off for the same 20 minute time span.

I was all set. Saturday's double play was in the bag (or oven).Meatballs in tomato sauce prepped for delicious quick hot meatball sub sandwiches tomorrow, and meatballs solo as a little plate to go into our Mediterranean style tapas feast for dinner this evening.

The components for the meatballs were all just sitting around in our refrigerator, freezer and pantry. That's what I enjoy most about putting menus together - taking disparate elements and combining them so they end up throwing a mouth party in their reincarnation as sides or entreés. The Fall Pantry Challenge? Bringing out the best in the ingredients we already have on hand is what it is all about.

You had me at pomo

[Photo Credit:Bon Apetit.com]
Occasionally I see a food photo, read the accompanying recipe and experience a deep intense need to prepare and devour the dish. As in immediately if not sooner. Such was the case with this Pomodori al Forno.

I read in an article somewhere about food cravings that when this happens it is a case of your body leading you to address some nutritional gap or shortfall. If that is the case (and let's agree that sounds a lot healthier than me simply being totally susceptible to food porn) then my baked tomato level must be at least a couple of quarts short. I saw this and had to make it. Had to.

It is a beautifully simple dish. Plum tomatoes slow baked in a low oven for two plus hours.The tomatoes are bathed in olive oil and sprinkled with oregano, salt and sugar. It is a great while-you-are-doing-something-else dish because the first two baking steps each last an hour. That gives you all sorts of time to do, well, whatever else it is you have to do.

To me this type of dish represents some of the best of seasonal slow eating. The Italian parsley in our garden which bolted months ago, reseeded and reappeared. Tomatoes are at a peak just now (although we don't grow plum toms in our garden), and having a lovely reduced to its essence herbed tomato atop a good slice of bread with some goat cheese sounds like a wonderful way to end a Saturday. Or any day, for that matter.

The quantities called for produce enough to serve a small crowd if you portion out one tomato half per person, say for a debate or football watching bunch, but if you aren't expecting company, according to the recipe a serving is two tomato halves. In our case it is just the two of us, but these will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.Think about that for a moment. Five days of having an amazing first course ready whenever you are. It just doesn't get much better than that. Factor in that tomatoes and olive oil are good for you, and you practically have an obligation to yourself to try these.

Here's the recipe - click this link for the original article.
6 servings

* 1 cups (or more) olive oil, divided
* 2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
* 3/4 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley
* Aged goat cheese (such as Bûcheron)
* 1 baguette, thinly sliced crosswise, toasted

Preheat oven to 250°F. Pour 1/2 cup oil into 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.Arrange tomatoes in dish, cut side up. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup oil.Sprinkle with oregano, sugar, and salt.Bake 1 hour.Using tongs, turn tomatoes over.Bake 1 hour longer.Turn tomatoes over again.Bake until deep red and very tender, transferring tomatoes to plate when soft (time will vary, depending on ripeness of tomatoes), about 15 to 45 minutes longer.

Layer tomatoes in medium bowl, sprinkling garlic and parsley over each layer; reserve oil in baking dish.Drizzle tomatoes with reserved oil, adding more if necessary to cover. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. DO AHEAD Cover; chill up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Serve with aged goat cheese and toasted baguette slices.

The house filled with a subtly enticing aroma of tomato and oregano, especially during the second hour of baking. My tomatoes were basic grocery store plum tomatoes, not especially ripe, so they took 25 of the 15-45 minute final go round in the oven.

I don't have aged goat cheese on hand but I do have some brie destined to go atop bread and under onion marmalade we want to use up. Goat cheese gives you more creaminess with less fat than cheeses made with cow's milk so if you are watching fat calories, goat is best. Brie is creamy without that sharper tang of goat cheese, but I figure it will sub in reasonably well.

Besides, I am still in Fall Pantry Challenge territory. I also have some kaltbach and argentinian bleu and manchego cheeses on hand, so I figure I'll put together a selection on a plate, maybe even heat up some olives in some of the leftover olive oil as a bonus element.Toasted bread, baked tomatoes, cheeses, and onion marmalade, paired with a nice red table wine and a green salad featuring the thinned out plants from our flourishing lettuce bed (planted only 18 days ago), should make a pretty delicious meal for two tonight. If the temperatures drop enough, perhaps we can enjoy our first al fresco dinner of the season on the back deck, listening to strains of ACL Fest music wafting over from Zilker Park.

That's the good life, Austin style.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yes, we have some bananas-Fall Pantry Challenge Three

But for how long?My friend Johnny over at Bearded Weirdo (adult language there, if the occasional f word offends, then not your kinda site, ok?) posted recently about the ticking time bomb that is Panama Disease, a blight that, once introduced to a field of banana plants, turns into a Musa terminator.

Fusarium wilt (aka Panama Disease) is responsible for the eradication of the tastier bananas people who are my age and older grew up with, the Gros Michel. Currently, most companies are Wizard of Ozing it up ala the blight (pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!), but it has become clear in Asia that the Cavendish bananas, the ones my kids grew up eating, the variety that replaced the Gros Michel and are currently found in all our supermarkets, are not resistant.

Banana wilt has resurfaced in China where it is wiping their Cavendish fields clean. The first year it take about five percent of the crop. The next year, twenty percent become infected and die. In the third year the infection rate soars to fifty percent and by the fourth year, the entire crop is destroyed. In southern China in 2007 it was reported that 39 percent of their crops were affected. Banana plants once infected either stop producing fruit or if they do fruit, do not produce marketable specimens. The bananas in your store are safe to eat, in other words, so no need to panic, but....

Biological warfare waged organism on organism is a tricky process. We've typically paid more attention to it as represented by the appearance of antibiotic resistant staph strains in humans, (MRSA) but it all follows a similar story line.

On one side of the biologic checkerboard a disease, let's say Panama banana blight, nearly wipes bananas off the face of the earth. Hop. That's one checker off for the black team. Humans intervene and replace their crops with a new variety, the Cavendish. Hop. That's one checker off for the red team. The once dormant blight then reappears, and the Cavendish is now a vulnerable host to the blight. Hop hop hop. If not stopped in some way, Black calls "king me" and clears the board.

Which is a roundabout way of saying, if you are a banana fan, pay attention, support organic bananas and do some reading so you will be prepared to understand why it might require a genetically managed banana to allow the delicious yellow crescents to remain ubiquitous in the produce section of the world's grocery stores. Otherwise, if Panama Banana blight has the last word, bananas might become just about as procurable as, well, mangosteens. And potentially just as pricey.

It is also a way to explain why I refuse to throw even a significantly overripe banana away. These bananas we enjoy and take so for granted are clones, the cheetahs of the fruit aisle, and as such, are not necessarily long for this world.

Fortunately, there is something that can be done short or long term with those browned softened bananas. They can be transformed into that workhorse of the quick bread family, Banana Bread.In my world, banana bread is one of those near perfect foods, like peanut butter. It is moist and delicious and keeps well. The flavor improves day to day. It provides nutrition, especially if you use organic ingredients, and it can deliver protein if you add nuts. It is suitable for breakfast in lieu of a muffin, or as a healthy snack (sliced thin and spread with peanut butter or topped with yogurt). It can even go decadent and be reheated slightly, topped with ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce and chopped nuts for an amazing dessert. And banana bread is dead simple to make.

Here is the recipe I use from Elise at Simply Recipes. I add chopped pecans because I'm from Texas and the pecans here are amazing and often abundant and the only thing better than banana bread is banana nut bread. Also, it is the way my mother in law always made it, and she was an amazing baker, so for our family, banana nut bread is the way to go.

I also use frozen bananas (although I thaw them first) to make my banana bread. I can't remember where I first read that you can freeze bananas once they start to go brown and use them whenever you are ready, rather than being held hostage to the banana's rapid ripening timeline for your baking schedule. Having a stash of frozen bananas in the freezer also means you can save up and bake in quantity for gift giving or large gatherings, if that suits your needs.If you haven't frozen bananas before, there isn't that much to know. You simply stick the banana, peel and all, into the freezer. It will go completely brown and eventually may shrink a bit as the moisture rearranges. If your banana has not been riding around in your freezer very long, it will substitute into a banana bread recipe one for one. If it fell in back behind the frozen spinach boxes you only use once a year during the holidays for dip (hypothetically) and it has shrunken somewhat, then I suggest using a two/one ratio of frozen to fresh bananas as called for in your recipe.

Prior to using your bananasicles, you are going to take them out of the freezer and leave them out on the counter to defrost, resting on a folded dish towel to catch the moisture. This takes a couple of hours. If I know I'll be making banana bread I take my bananas out of the freezer right after I get that first cup of coffee in the morning. Usually by the time I am ready to bake, they are defrosted. I recall reading somewhere you can use your microwave to defrost them, but haven't tried that. (If you do, let me know how that turns out.)A word about defrosted bananas. They are soft, very soft, and the skin once defrosted does not suffer much handling without yielding its substance to the cold cruel world, ok? When you are ready to begin your bread making you will delicately peel the stem end off the banana, holding it over your work bowl, and the thawed banana innards will then plosh right out into the bowl without needing much encouragement. I hold the emptied peel over the bowl for a few seconds past that to allow any remaining moisture to fall onto the pulp.

Defrosted bananas are halfway to mashed already. It rarely takes more than a pass or two with my potato masher to have the pulp ready for combination with the rest of the ingredients. Do not be concerned about browning or the generalized not so attractive appearance of your pulp. It will not affect your finished product in the slightest.

Ok. Wow - I really got sidetracked there didn't I.... Here is the recipe for the banana bread. Once it has cooled, you will want to wrap it and refrigerate it and it will keep for several days (if you don't eat it all before then). Banana bread freezes well. If I don't want an entire loaf for just the two of us I freeze half and keep it for a future treat.
Banana Bread
3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Spinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix.
Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan.
Bake 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
My notes (did you seriously think I didn't have any?): I make this with 3/4 cup sugar and it is generally nicely sweet, especially if I have used 4 bananas. I take the bread out of the loaf pan after it has cooled for 15 minutes because that is the way I was taught to treat quick breads by my mother in law who was a phenomenal baker. She told me to do it that way and I do. As I mentioned before, I add a cup of chopped pecans to this because again, that is the way my mother in law made hers, so that is the way banana bread is supposed to be in our family. If you don't have any or want to use walnuts or almonds, or want to throw in chocolate chips or don't like nuts in yours, this is a very forgiving recipe, no worries.

Penny Pinching

Once upon a time, there was a national chain that started out small. As it got larger, (and larger), people often complained it had forgotten where it came from. They said the chain was pricing them out of being able to shop there, and they began referring to the stores by a nickname, "Whole Paycheck".Well, Austin based Whole Foods may have heard your grousing, and perhaps to prove they haven't completely lost their affinity for serving the non-glitterati, they've recently unveiled a Budget Recipe Challenge.

How does it work? You go to the site, review the recipes and comment on your favorite dish. That casts a "vote" for that dish, or rather the blogger who submitted the dish, to win the challenge.  

What's the catch?  You do have to register on their site to vote. (You can always un-register later if that becomes a nuisance for you.) 

What's the reward?There are 6 budget minded recipes submitted by popular food bloggers for starters (although you don't have to register to read the recipes).  Past that, anybody voting is entered to win a $500 Whole Foods Gift Card and ten runners up will get a $25 gift card. (!) (!!!)

I don't know about you, but I would have a ginormously fun shopping trip spending 25 dollars at Whole Foods that came out of their pocket to start with.  500 dollars to spend would be surreal.  I'd splurge on items I wouldn't ordinarily buy, like foie gras or really nice wine. Or maybe half and half on fine bottles of wine and incredible cheeses.  Maybe I'd play it thrifty and stock up on nonperishables.  (naaaaaah)

But to win, you have to vote. I read all the recipes carefully and then voted for the Wonton Soup dinner. That is the one dish I know my family would happily devour, and at slightly under $3 a serving, that makes it a winner already in my book.

Part of the rationale behind my Fall Pantry Challenge is using up perishable food on hand rather than throwing it out. Thrifty habits like that make even more sense in our current economic pickle.

As does checking out and voting for a budget minded recipe that potentially wins me $25 or $500 in grocery money.

How about you? Which recipe rocks your palate while hugging your piggybank?

Better yet, if you won the $500 prize from Whole Foods, tell me, what would you spend it on? I'm all ears.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

(Left)Over, but not Out-Fall Pantry Challenge Two

Shopping to support eating seasonally and locally happens different ways for different people. A friend of mine has been getting local organic food delivered to her doorstep in boxes from the folks at Greenling every other week.Despite having a family of four with healthy appetites to cook for, she is discovering for herself how eating seasonally and locally can be somewhat of a challenge at times.

Take eggplant. Which is precisely what she begged me to do. They'd had eggplant in every box so far and she had run out of ways to prepare it that anybody was interested in helping her eat. She'd had her eggplant and eaten it too and either I was going to take the eggplant off her hands or into the trash it would go, as bad as she felt about that.

Not forgetting that I have 3-4 robustly healthy and ripe to past-ripe eggplants in my own garden, I still told her I'd take the excess. I had plans on trying a roasted eggplant soup recipe and if it turned out, I figured I could make several batches of soup, freeze it, and be ready to enjoy local eggplant soup long after the plants had given it up for the year.

She also gave me a few serrano peppers, a Meyer lemon and a couple of adorable teensy key limes she didn't think she could use.

Enter the Fall Pantry Challenge. Eggplants, peppers, lemons and limes all hit the "must use up before they spoil" list.

So next up? Eggplant Soup and Roasted Pepper Mayonnaise

Here's how it went:

The eggplant soup recipe was very easy - more a technique or a guideline. (if you'd like the original version with specifics go here)You cut up and oiled eggplant, tomato, onion and garlic.After roasting the vegetables at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes (until veggies are tender and brown in spots), you let them cool slightly, then scoop the eggplant out of the skin into a heavy saucepan. Add the remaining roasted vegetables, some chopped fresh thyme, and some chicken broth. Simmer until onion is very soft. Cool slightly and pureé in a blender until smooth.Stir in cream to taste and heat through without boiling. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with crumbled goat cheese as a topping.I grilled the peppers to blister the skin to make it easy to remove. A skinned roasted pepper will last longer in the refrigerator than fresh will. That gives me options. After talking to my son about the tortilla crusted chicken I'd made recently he shared with me how they use crushed baked potato chips as a delicious coating for baking fish or chicken - I can't remember which - at the spa where he works.

I had two fish fillets from Wheatsville to cook for dinner, wild caught arctic cod this time. I thought I'd use a grilled skinned serrano pepper mixed with mayonnaise to stick on a crunchy layer of crushed baked potato chips.

I used my small automated chopper (cue Stones) dba Mother's Little Helper -first to crush the chips and then to combine the pepper with the mayonnaise. I used one serrano pepper and about 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, plus some freshly ground black pepper and I juiced one of the key limes into the mix for a bit of acidity.

I think my mini-chopper is hot stuff. Great for small jobs- it only handles 2 cups max. Easy to clean after and not particularly expensive. I think I got mine for $18 originally although now I think they are running closer to $25 dollars. I digress. Back to the Cod. I cut the fish up into three reasonably consistently sized pieces, coated each one with the mayonnaise, then dredged each fillet in the chip crumbs.

Oh, ahem. You may have noted a suspiciously shaped impact crater in the mayo mixture in that last shot. According to the splatter pattern, you may have deduced the droplets indicate "something" fell into the mix prior to the fish making their debut. Let me say this about that. Sooner or later, everybody who tries to take photos of their food while making dinner potentially could find themselves fishing something other than fish out of their coating mixture. Thankfully, the something other than fish still takes photos although the strap does look a bit more, well, used, now.

I digress again. Back to our Cod fillets. I placed them into a baking dish I'd lightly oiled,and put them into the oven at 350 degrees. When I checked at 20-25 minutes the chips were nicely browned and the fillet was firm to the applied knuckle, so I took them out of the oven to rest while I plated up the appetizer sides.And there you have it - Fall Pantry Challenge Two. Eggplant Soup and Oven Baked Cod with Potato/Pepper Coating. Check and double check. Two in the "I Win!" column so far. What's left? Let's see, the carrots, honey, bananas, and lemons. Don't go anywhere - it's just getting good.