My inspiration for today's blog post came from a recent trip into New York with my sister and friends (a source of inspiration for Rona as well). We went to a great little tapas restaurant, had [1 too many] pitchers of sangria, watched some fútbol and ate amazing food. One of the dishes we ordered was " and I devoured them, sparing none. It's hard to hide evidence of your mussel binge when you have to leave the shells on your plate. It was pretty clear I ate 3/4 of the dish. What can I say, I'm a huge fan.
So due to my love affair with mussels, I decided to make some of my own for the first time ever, exciting!
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded (for a how-to guide to cleaning mussels, click here)
2 tbsp butter
2 cans tomato sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 tbsp capers
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
*all of these measurements should be adjusted to taste
1. Melt butter in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add oil to the melted butter and heat. Cook garlic, shallots, and capers in the heated mixture and cook until the shallots are translucent.
2. Mix in the tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, pepper, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil, stirring constantly. Once the sauce is evenly mixed, cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
3. Add mussels to the pan and cover tightly. Raise heat to medium-high until all the mussels have opened, approximately 15 minutes. Transfer mussels to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped scallions. Serve with crunchy bread for dipping.
For my first time making mussels, I'd say it was a huge success. And compared to most other seafood, mussels are relatively cheap at only $4.99 for 2lbs. Not too shabby.
Sidenote: This will be my last blog post for about 2 months; in the mean time, Rona will be holding down the fort with her culinary masterpieces. I am going to spend the next 8 weeks in Middlebury College intensively studying Russian, which is exciting but here's the big wah wah: I will have no kitchen! Back to dining hall living for me. But I have no doubt in my mind Rona will do a wonderful job bringing creative recipes and mouth watering pictures your way!