Monday, February 13, 2012

Early Valentine's Day

Last night, Terry and I celebrated Valentine's Day a little early, as a lot of folks seem to be doing this week. I agreed to make seafood, Terry's favorite, because - let's be honest - I was really focused mostly on the dessert and champagne. But actually, the meal turned out to be delicious!

I bought fresh wild cod from Costco last week, froze it for a few days, then let it thaw in the fridge for two nights (it was still a little frozen when I prepared it). We rarely buy fish because it's pricey and I'm intimidated by the idea of cooking with it, but I'm gaining confidence. So last night I created this recipe and highly recommend it to fish-cooking novices! Note: I call this recipe Almond-Crusted Cod, but you could use any nut and any mild fish. I just thought "Nut-Crusted Mild Fish" didn't sound quite as fancy.

Almond-Crusted Cod
Serves 4
Almond-Crusted Cod
  • 4 fillets of fresh wild cod or other mild white fish 
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds or other nut
  • 1 egg
  • Cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. In a food processor, grind the nuts until very fine, about 45 seconds. You will scare everyone in your house, including animals, with the volume of this process, but just go with it. The texture should be about that of bread crumbs. Once finished, transfer the ground almonds to a flat bowl or plate. Meanwhile, crack the egg into a flat bowl and whisk it with a bit of water to create an egg wash. Dip the fish into the egg wash and then into the nuts, coating completely. Place the coated fish into the prepared baking dish. Bake the fish, covered, for 25 minutes, or until the fillets are flaky. 

How easy is that? (Hi, Ina Garten!) (<--Do you guys think she reads my blog?) (<--I don't think so.) (But I love her.) It took me about 10 minutes to prepare the fish, and then I was free to cook the rest of the meal. We ate our fish along with quinoa (it was my first time and I loved it!) and Mom's recipe for brussels sprouts. Super healthy meal - until dessert. :-) We made a chocolate-hazelnut fondue and dipped strawberries, banana slices, and chunks of cinnamon swirl bread. YUM.

We also enjoyed a bottle of champagne that we purchased in France during our European Christmas trip. We were supposed to drink it on New Year's Eve, but a certain incident prevented that from happening, which made for a super romantic Valentine's Day.

And of course, we had a few gifts for each other. Actually, we normally don't do gifts for smaller holidays like this one, but we agreed that our first married V-Day deserved a little acknowledgment. I gave Terry an alarm clock (I swear he really wanted a new one), the movie Midnight in Paris, a shirt and tie, and an insulated UCLA cup that he can use to drink smoothies on the go. He gave me three Bic Bands (super cute headbands designed for workouts), Season 6 of How I Met Your Mother (<--if you're the first person to give the name of the episode where this website comes from, I will send you a batch of cookies!), and Happy Endings Season 1 (I'm definitely loving this new-ish show and highly recommend it!). An awesome first married Valentine's Day, indeed!

I had the day off today for Lincoln's birthday (obviously), so I kicked things off with breakfast for Terry and then tackled an awesome leg workout.

*Calf raises were as follows: 1) Feet together, toes forward; 2) Feet apart, toes forward; 3) Heels together, toes pointing out (first position for ballet folks out there); 4) Feet apart, toes pointing out (second position).

After some solid stretching, I showered, got some blog work done, and then picked up Terry for an appointment with our tax lady. We feared for our lives bank accounts, because we'd heard that filing as a married couple for the first time can be brutal, but we lucked out! We can still afford to eat! Thank you, tax gods! Since the appointment was in Orange County (not as close to LA as some might think, especially with traffic), Terry decided it wouldn't make sense to go back to work for such a short time, so we got to spend a little more time together than planned. Nothing could be better than that! I even convinced Terry to stop at Islands for a late lunch.

I'm a lucky lady :-)

Pineapple burger for Terry

Delicious grilled veggie tacos for me

When we finally got home, I puttered around the house, crossing things off my I've Been Meaning to Do These Things for Awhile list and watching my newly acquired Happy Endings DVD.

One of my tasks: Hanging some wedding photos (7 months later...)

Also, Scout chilled atop a newspaper.

Then I made the following 15-minute meal using last night's leftover fish (I baked some fish without the nut crust and simply used a little olive oil, salt, and pepper).

Cod Stir Fry
Serves 2
Stir Fry with Fish

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 fillets of cod, baked with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and broccoli florets. Cook another 5 minutes. Add the teriyaki sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then roughly chop the fish (or simply break off pieces with your fingers) and add to the pan, along with a few tablespoons of water. Cover and cook another 3-5 minutes, until the fish is heated through.

Serve the stir fry atop the quinoa, and enjoy! Super easy, tons of nutritional value, and a perfect weeknight way to use leftovers. This meal would also work with chicken or beef, but you'd need to cook the meat a little longer.

Now I'm blogging at Starbucks and waiting for Terry's football game to start. (By the way, there's a guy and a girl here who are clearly classmates in graduate school, and the girl very obviously has a crush on the guy but he appears to be either oblivious or uninterested. I think the latter, but he hangs out with her because he feels bad and because he's not good at saying no. Also he has a girlfriend but things aren't going well.) (The girlfriend thing may or may not be true, but it certainly makes the story more interesting, doesn't it?)

Terry actually played football throughout high school (and was apparently quite the stud) and walked on to UCLA's football team his freshman year. He was on the football team the same year I was on the UCLA Dance Team, but we never met until after those endeavors. It would've been cute to cheer for him, but I'm excited to see him play for the first time ever tonight. I'll tell you what - he'd better live up to all these rumors about him being amazing, or I'll have some serious second thoughts here.

Just kidding. :-) 

1 comment:

  1. How fun! Happy Valentine's Day! And I love the episode where Marshall keeps searching for the *one* burger. Too hilarious! "This isn't it guys... this isn't it..."