Stepping away from the usual white wine with mussels, here’s a recipe for mussels in a red wine tomato sauce: Mussels Provençal with Mushrooms and Jerusalem Artichokes
- Skin the Jerusalem artichokes and set them away to boil till soft.
- Mash or puree with some single cream and a small bit of butter.
Mussels Provençal with Mushrooms
- After all the routine jazz of discarding lousy mussels, steam the mussels in a generous splash of red wine, with minced red onions, on an open skillet. Let the overpowering flavour of the alcohol evaporate before adding the rest of the ingredients, and putting the lid on.
- When the alcohol has more or less evaporated, toss in chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, quartered mushrooms. Also, add in some tomato juice or diluted tomato puree mixture, then turn down the heat and put the lid on.
- Once the mixture has reduced, add in a knob of butter to finish the sauce.
Garnish with a pinch of fennel leaves.
Butter-roasted fillet of crisp-skin salmon, a fondant potato, on a bed of fennel and carrot salsa, with fresh arugula, seared cherry tomatoes and a slice of lemon.
- In a skillet, continuously baste the fillet of fish with foaming butter.
- When done, rest on kitchen towel.
- Peel off the skin of the salmon and dry-fry it.
- Sear the potato in a small pot of butter, till brown. Repeat on the other side.
- Add a bit of stock to boil it once the potato has been browned on both sides. Potato is done once it can be easily pierced through its side.
Fennel and Carrot Salsa
- With a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a skillet, fry minced shallots till transparent.
- Toss in chopped carrots and fennel.
- Add in a small bowl of tomato juice and reduce.
- Season accordingly.
Serve with fresh arugula, seared cherry tomatoes and a slice of lemon.
No space for full description above.
Poached and pan-roasted leg of chicken, with a steamed spinach omelette, served with a red onion balsamic & honey jus, raw carrot and Jerusalem artichoke crisps.
- Poach for approximated eight minutes. TIP! Poke deep with a skewer of small knife, if juice runs clear and is not bloody, chicken is cooked.
- Drain well and pan-roast with a little knob of butter till golden.
- Remove and let the leg of chicken rest.
Red Onion Balsamic & Honey Jus
- In the skillet of remaining chicken juices and butter, toss in minced red onion and sweat it till almost transparent.
- Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and reduce it by half.
- Remove from heat and stir in a tablespoon of honey.
Steamed Spinach Omelette
- Fill a ramekin with finely chopped spinach leaves.
- Crack in an egg and using a fork, carefully move the spinach bits about to let the egg white flow in and around the greens. Do not break the yolk.
- Steam the egg in a steamer. Remove once egg is cooked, and yolk still runny. Timing is of the essence.
Serve with raw carrot cubes and a garnish of Jerusalem artichoke crisps.
Mussels are apparently the poor man’s food of shellfish, cheap and easily available. I haven’t had them in awhile and tonight, I made a little bit of it with some pasta.
So far, the best way I know to do mussels is to steam them. And contrary to popular belief, Sarah read somewhere that all properly-cooked mussels can be eaten, whether or not they open during the cooking process. No clue how true that is though.
Disclaimer: Consume unopened cooked mussels AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Simple Butter Mussels
- Bring a pot with water about half a centimetre deep to the boil.
- Toss the clean scrubbed mussels in and add a splash of dry white wine. Then, put the lid on. Mussels cook really quickly so keep them in check.
- Remove cooked-open mussels to a bowl at once. After about a maximum of 8 minutes, remove all.
- DO NOT throw the remaining mussel liquor away! Melt in a small knob of salted butter and drizzle over the bowl of cooked shellfish.
- Sneak a happy smile, or shed happy tears.
Mussels are lovely with garlic and a little bit of chilli. So I think Aglio Olio is the perfect carbohydrate match.
Simple cooking, at it’s best.
A couple of days ago, I managed to pull myself out of bed at 430am to make a trip down to Billingsgate Market, at Canary Wharf. It’s a wholesale wet market holding the likes of fresh fish, mussels, scallops, crabs, lobsters, and frozen seafood, all for really good prices. I’d think the produce available there is anytime fresher than the stuff back home and in the supermarkets here.
Well, so I got myself a whole salmon, a couple of sea-basses and a bag of live mussels. No chance to cook any of that for lunch; I hit the sack after an incredibly early morning out of bed.
Dinner, however, was salmon with couscous.
Butter-basted fillet of salmon, served on fennel, carrot and oregano couscous, garnished with arugula, chilli and a mini-slice of lemon.
- Melt a hunk of butter in a skillet and let it foam up a little. Crack a bit of black pepper in and squeeze in some lemon juice.
- Lay in the salmon fillet skin side down, and with a spoon, baste the fish continuously till it’s just right. Take care not to overcook it, else it’d get really dry.
- Be sure to let the fillet rest for a but after removing it from the pan.
- (At this stage, the skin of the salmon should peel off easily in a single piece. If you want, deep-fry it till crispy and then put it back on the fish.)
- Prepare a portion as you would as stated on the packaging instructions.
- While that’s happening, saute the minced fennel, carrot and shallots with some butter and a squeeze of lemon.
- When the carrot bits are tender, toss in the couscous and stir.
- Season accordingly with salt, pepper, oregano and a dash of chilli powder.
Damn, I should’ve deep-fried that skin.
Frozen fish is an sufficient alternative if you haven’t got fresh fish. However, cooking frozen fish can be a tricky task; when done wrongly, the fish can be real dry, and gross. A good way to do it I’d say, is to baste it continuously in the accompanying sauce.
In this case, I’ve done a mild tom yum sauce, with carrots, shallots, garlic, a slice of ginger and a squeeze of lemon. If you’re wondering, the tom yum base was from an instant paste in a bottle just like this one:
- Set the pasta away in a pot to boil together with a handful of frozen peas. Boiling the peas instead of sauteing them allows them a fresher flavour and sweeter crunch.
- I made the sauce by tossing the chopped condiments (mentioned above) together into a skillet, and adding a teaspoon of tom yum paste and an adequate amount of pasta-cooking water.
- Then, I cooked the fish, drenching it repeatedly in the sweet yet just sourish gravy. Nonstop, till the fish was just right.
- Drained the pasta and peas and served with a chilli garnish, for colour and added heat.
Kinda like an Asian bolognese, slightly spicy, and with fish. Lush.
Click here for the original Tom Yum Spaghetti recipe.
It’s a bold claim there but check this out:
- Render bacon fat out with butter. Fry bacon.
- Welcome the Aroma Fairies.
- Add seafood and let it fry about in the bacon fat for a bit.
- Poach seafood by adding white wine.
- Boil away till alcohol has burned off.
- (If you want heart-palpitations) Add full fat milk and bring to a boil.
- (If you want a cardia arrest) Crack in a beaten egg.
- Then add cream, and reduce the sauce.
- Season accordingly, with salt and pepper.
- Have it with angel-shaped pasta, because it’s the world’s tastiest.
It’s so rich I nearly lost my voice after dinner.
Okay, I exaggerate.
But only slightly.
Anyway, try it today.
I dare you.