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.
I wouldn’t call this a Mediterranean dish ‘cos it isn’t exactly one. But the combination of peppers and sage remind me of Greece. Anyway, here’s a simple recipe for a slight taste of the Great Middlelands.
Grilled Peppers & Sage Chicken Pasta
- 1 serving of long pasta
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- half a small white onion, minced
- 1 handful of sliced red peppers, inch-long
- 1 handful of sliced yellow peppers, inch-long
- 1 handful of sliced mushrooms
- 1 handful of chicken fillet, breast or drumstick meat, cubed bite-size
- half tsp of dried sage
- salt and pepper, for seasoning, to taste
- handful of spinach leaves, for colour
- Get your pasta cooking on the hob. (Remember: The Italians say the water used to cook pasta should be as salty as the Mediterranean
- Put a wok on the hob too. Turn the switch up to full whack and get the wok screaming hot. Add the oil in.
- Toss the minced white onion into the wok to flavour the oil.
- Before the onion turns brown, get the peppers to join the party. This time, let them sit still up to 2 minutes each time before tossing, until they show signs of slight charring. TIP! The trick here is that you don’t have the time to heat up an oven to specially grill your peppers. Pan-searing does the trick.
- Add mushrooms and toss.
- When the mushrooms are just about done, get everything out and put your chicken cubes in. You want to dry stir-fry them. This means you use the starchy water from the pasta, to stir-fry the meat. By adding the water in small quantities, stirring as you go along, you allow the meat to absorb all the liquid. Result: the chicken cubes are ‘dry’ yet juicy.
- Once the chicken is just done, add all the ingredients back in. And add salt, pepper and sage. Stir.
- The pasta should be just about done. Drain and add to the wok.
- Turn the heat off and add the lush green spinach leaves.
- Mix and serve.
Today being the big day for Prince William and Kate Middleton, I thought I’d have a little commemorative celebratory lunch.
I’m crazy, I know.
Go here to see why the dish looks like that.
And why spaghetti? Go here.