Have I ever mentioned my baton-twirling days? Maybe I have not because they lasted about a minute, and I do not mean a minute; I mean a minute. I was in the third grade, and my best friend Michelle and I decided it would be a great idea to twirl some batons to the song, "Under the Sea" from the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid for the elementary school talent show. We literally knew how to do the following:
*twirl the baton vertically
*twirl the baton horizontally
*pass the baton in a figure eight motion between my legs
If it is hard to imagine the combination of the above three "tricks" being entertaining for the length of an entire song, that is probably because it would never have been considered entertaining by any stretch of the imagination ....at the time at least.
A video of this exists. I believe it is in the form of a VHS tape in my friend Meagan's collection of insanely horrible and embarrassing videos from our childhoods. It is probably somewhere between the 4th grade solo I sang in a jean jumper of "The Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler and the lip sync I did with some gal pals of "Say You'll Be There" by the Spice Girls in 6th Grade (I was Scary Spice).
I don't know if my struggle with enjoying seafood began with the great "Under the Sea" fiasco of 1994 or not, but for as long as I can remember I have never been a fan. While I would enjoy the occasional fish stick, I never grew up liking salmon, shrimp, scallops, trout, sea bass, crab, lobster...none of it. I am just now beginning to slowly explore the world under the surface of the sea. Here is where I am at:
Shrimp ...yes please
Salmon ...eh, no thanks
Sea bass ...wonderful
Crab Cakes ...of course!
Sushi ...yes please
Halibut...YES YES YES (thanks to the recipe below)
Under the Mediterranean Sea:
(recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Everybody Likes Sandwiches)
2 large potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 small onion, quartered
4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 t dried rosemary (plus additional sprinkle for fish)
2 T olive oil
1 t coarse salt
pepper to taste
1/4 c green olives
1 T capers
2 filets of fish (I used halibut)
juice of half a lemon
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a foil-lined walled cookie sheet, evenly line the pan with the cubed potatoes and large onion chunks. Drizzle with half of the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and toss everything around with your hands to coat. Bake in oven for about 25 minutes until starting to brown.
On a plate, season the fish and the cherry tomatoes with salt and pepper and a bit of rosemary and coat with the remaining olive oil. Use your hands to make sure everything is covered with the oil and spice.
Push the potatoes to one side of the cookie sheet and place the fish and the tomatoes on the other side. Fill in remaining gaps with olives and capers. Squeeze lemon juice onto the fish and tomatoes.
Return tray to oven for another 20 minutes or so, until fish is cooked and tomatoes are roasted and wrinkled. Transfer onto plates and serve.