Sunday, March 4

The Domestic Curator is Ready To Be The Inconspicuous Traveler!

Poppies growing wild on the hills of Umbria.
  Tuscany is Umbria's neighbor to the west. The region of Umbria is somewhat overshadowed by it's richer and more cultured brother. However it does seem to be slightly obscured and modest in comparison. It is rich in history and scattered with quaint hill towns. A wonderful place to find relaxing and beautiful rentals. Umbria seems to be the "heart" of Italy making it the ideal place in which to base your travels from when visiting Italy.
  Let's face it, one of the most important aspect of any trip to Italy is the food. Many people may not realize just how varied "Italian food" is from one region to the next. A traveler could spend days, weeks even months getting to know the many regional cuisines of this ancient land called Italy and never fully exhaust all of their cherished dishes. The people of each region quite rightly embrace their own unique glories. Umbria is the only region in Italy that is landlocked, therefore they do not have "sea"food cuisine. However it's mountain lakes, rivers, and streams are full of freshwater fish. This simple Umbrian dish is excellent for fillets of a sweet-water variety, such as carp or whitefish. You could even use light ocean-fish fillets like Sole. Serve with a salad and pasta on the side. DELISH!

Umbrian Baked Fish
with Savory Bread Crumbs


2 pounds whitefish fillets
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, (about 3 tablespoons)
½ cup white wine
6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
½ cup bread crumbs
Zest of 1 lemon, (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon peperoncino flakes, chopped fine
Fresh lemon slices, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly salt the fish on both sides, using about 1/4 teaspoon salt in all. Pour 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice, white wine, and another 1/4 teaspoon salt into a baking dish, and whisk together well. Drop in the garlic cloves, and stir with the dressing. Lay the fillets in the dish, turn and swish them in the dressing so both sides are thoroughly moistened, and arrange them, skin side down, in one layer.

Toss the bread crumbs in a bowl with the lemon zest, parsley, oregano, chopped peperoncino, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and toss the crumbs well until evenly moistened with oil.

Spoon the seasoned bread crumbs on top of the fillets in a light, even layer. Bake, uncovered, until the crumbs are crisp and golden and the fish is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Lift the fish out with a spatula, and set on a warm platter to serve family-style, or on individual plates. Spoon over it the juices left in the baking dish, and serve right away, with lemon slices on the side.

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