I am convinced that Friday nights are the best nights to entertain...they force you to be casual, impromptu, no preplanning, just "hey let's get together and make a feast" kind of nights. You can have a few drinks, and still have Saturday and Sunday to recover, which in my mind is a VERY good thing! :)
My friend Kristy came over and we started to cook. But first a cocktail break...
This is the Peach Basil Martini:
This is a great cocktail that we all enjoyed...a great summer drink that you should try! :)
But I digress...this post is all about the Mussels!
On our way home from work, we stopped at the market to pick up something to make for dinner. We wanted some shrimp, then I noticed the mussels...they were on sale...so I asked Kristy if she had ever cooked them...she said no, so I said...what the heck! We bought a pound each of shrimp and mussels thinking we would just figure it out when we got home.
Fish, shellfish, anykind of fish...I have always been afraid to cook...it isn't cheap, and it is very delicate easily ruined...and that I just couldn't face! :) I love it though! So, I had to start somewhere.
What I didn't realize is fish makes a quick meal...and elegant one, and one that doesn't require lots of planning! I love this.
We found a recipe in the Barefoot in Paris book by Ina Garten...and I just happened to have everything on hand...and off we went to create this FANTASTIC dinner.
Note: This recipe uses all mussels, but we bought 1 lb of shrimp and 1 lb of mussels to make this recipe.
Mussels in White Wine
Barefoot In Paris by Ina Garten
3 pounds cultivated mussels
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots (5 to 7 shallots)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
1/2 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes, drained (4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon good saffron threads
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup good white wine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To clean the mussels, put them in a large bowl with 2 quarts of water and the flour and soak for 30 minutes, or until the mussels disgorge any sand.
Drain the mussels, then remove the "beard" from each with your fingers. If they're dirty, scrub the mussels with a brush under running water. Discard any mussels whose shells aren't tightly shut.
In a large non-aluminum stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. Add the tomatoes, saffron, parsley, thyme, wine, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
Add the mussels,
stir well, then cover the pot, and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the mussels are opened (discard any that do not open). With the lid on, shake the pot once or twice to be sure the mussels don't burn on the bottom.
NOTE: at 8 minutes, we added the peeled, deveined shrimp to the pot to cook for the last 3 minutes.
Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large bowl and serve hot.
Isn't this gorgeous? We served it with fresh lemon slices and toasted garlic ciabatta bread to sop up the delicious broth...so good!
This is an impressive dinner. The flavors are out of this world...tastes like a million bucks. This will be a go to recipe for me from now on. It was so simple and easy, and the results to DIE FOR! :) I know I say that a lot, but it is so true...this is a delicious recipe. If you are a virgin shellfish cooker, give this one a try, you won't be sorry!
pistachio cake - Now that I’ve gotten a few bigger projects out of the way — hooray! And more soon on all of that, eee — I have a little more time again to do the things ...