I’m going to start by saying this was all Tim’s doing – I take no credit! It was Oscar Sunday, he wanted to make something special and decided on oysters – so off to Pier 46 we went. Eric was there and he told us just what to do – as always – and even hooked us up with some garlic butter (Thanks, Eric!).
For the first 22 or so years of my life, I refused to try oysters, which is funny because my dad is the biggest fan of raw oysters. We spent every summer growing up in our summer house, which is literally on Malpeque Bay…yes, that Malpeque…and I had never even tried one! Since I met Tim, we’ve been working on expanding my palate and I’m slowly acquiring the taste/texture of raw oysters. These baked ones were much more manageable and even…dare I say it?…enjoyable!
So Valentine’s Day happened! When I wasn’t pouring wine like a crazy person at Villicana for the Far Out Wineries Passport Weekend, I played house with my Valentine. We lounged around on the couch, watched Olympics, drank lots of wine, and snugged the dog. It was perfect.
Tim and I didn’t want to do the whole spend-lots-of-money-on-dinner thing and roses weren’t allowed; instead, we opted for dinner at home, complete with port and cheesecake for dessert (Tim surprised me with Four Vines Zin Port and Riedel port glasses! So thoughtful!).
Old Bay was the favor at my cousin's Baltimore wedding! So cute!
On Saturday, we visited Pier 46 for some Chilean Sea Bass, one of Tim’s favorites. He baked it with salt, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, and a little olive oil. It was delicious, I loved how the fish came apart like dominoes.
Disclaimer: I didn’t know Chilean Sea Bass is endangered! I won’t be buying it again until the population recovers, but I am glad I tried it.
For my fifth birthday, I got this really great cookbook: Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual. It came with bright colored plastic measuring spoons (which are still among my family’s utensil collection today), which was awesome, and it is filled with great recipes and great illustrations. Throughout my childhood, I poured over this cookbook. I loved it. Actually, why am I using past tense? Let’s be honest: I still have it, and I still love it.
So. Put-back potatoes, anyone? I’ve been a huge fan since I first made one around the time I got this cookbook. These days, I usually go for broccoli and cheddar put-backs – a classic combo, and the broccoli adds good fiber.
This particular recipe was born one evening when I felt like a good ole put-back. The problem: no one had been shopping in a while (a common problem in these here parts), and the broccoli I had in the fridge was on the yellow side (whoops).
I took stock of what we did have. Ricotta? Hmmm. Spinach? Do-able. Another classic combo, but will it work in a baked potato?
Oh yes, I found. Quite well. Read on for my grown-up recreation of a childhood favorite.