Winter came to Colorado on Monday sometime after noon. It blew in like a lion! I was about to go outside and someone warned me I might blow away. I assured them I'd put some rocks in my pocket and I'd be okay.
Monday morning I had an appointment with a physical therapist. It was 6:00 am and I was quite comfortable in flip flops and shorts. When I drove home from work, less than about 10 hours later, it was snowing. I think it snowed on and off all of Tuesday and Wednesday, and then today it was minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit first thing in the morning. When the sun rose, we could see there was not a cloud in the sky and it was a gorgeous day. Cold, drippy, and sunny... but gorgeous. We did venture down to the river with the dogs and went for a short walk. The dogs loved it. The dogs have been feeling a bit cooped up; the humans have, too.
With so many hours at home (I only worked two days this week... vacation time to burn... Woo Hoo!), I've burned off some steam with some creative cooking. Today, I made more of my Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats in the Crock Pot. In a second Crock Pot, I made some Three Bean Turkey Chili. For dinner, we thawed out some fish. We bought a bag of swai at Sam's Club. Swai looks like tilapia but the filets are a bit larger. It's a soft, delicate white fish and it's very mild. Not fishy at all. Years ago, I saw something on a cooking TV show about gremolata. Basically, the gremolata was a combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, and olive oil. I looked at a few recipes today but I just sort of winged it. My husband really liked it so I am typing this up before I forgot how I made this yummy and healthy dinner.
Baked Fish Gremolata (serves 2)
2 tilapia or swai filets
4 tablespoons Italian dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
zest from 1/2 to 3/4 of a lemon
1 small to medium sized garlic clove, finely grated
1 tablespoon finely minced Italian flat leaf parsley
salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread about 1 tablespoon olive oil in the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish. Rinse fish with cold water and pat dry well with paper towels. Place the fish in the baking dish, turn the filets to coat both sides in olive oil. Season top side of filets with salt and pepper. I used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. I used a Microplane grater to zest the lemon and finely grate the garlic. Stir well with a fork until all ingredients are well combined and all of the bread crumbs are moistened. Spread the bread crumb mixture on top of the filets. Bake the fish in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily. Then turn the oven to broil and broil until the bread crumbs are golden brown; keep an eye on it, as it will brown quickly.
We had the fish with sauted bell peppers and onions. I also made some quinoa. The quinoa I made had an Italian flair as well. I combined a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil with a pinch or two of salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, dried oregano, and dried basil. I stirred the olive oil and herbs into the cooked quinoa and topped it all with some Parmesan cheese.
Above: a shot of the gremolata... great combination of flavors.
Above: a shot of the fish just before popping it in the oven. It smelled really great baking in the oven.
Sandy and Brutus have enjoyed me being home this week. We have been hanging out on the couch and knitting and looking out the window a LOT this week!
A few pictures of the great outdoors during this cold snap. Ummmm, no grilling this week. The sun came out this morning and things got drippy but as soon as the sun passed over the house, things froze up really quickly again. The high temperature today was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit.
Above: I loved how the snow piled up on the pergola.
Below: What a difference a few weeks make... a photo from pretty much the same angle taken not too long ago.
Stay warm folks!
Our back yard.