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September 18, 2007

It's Mussel Time!

Sometimes you just have to break down and get back to the basics. Lots of chilled white wine. A fresh loaf of FreedomFrench Bread.

And 2 pounds of mussels.

Now, before all you Men out there wince uncontrollably this next photo is not what you think

My Bride wasn't that mad at me...

That's some nice chorizo that we'll slice up into little bits

and put it in a nice deep saute pan over medium heat. You want to start rendering out some of that tasty chorizo fat like so

While that's happening chop up an onion

and plop it into the pan with the chorizo for a little saute action

Once the onions clarify a little bit and the chorizo is nicely browned put, oh, 3/4 to an inch of white wine in the pan

and also add a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, juice and all

and turn up the heat to get it simmering.

While that's heating up it's time to play barber...come here you bearded beauty

Now when you buy these things you want to make sure that they smell sweet and fresh; if they smell fishy then order pizza. Keep 'em cool in the fridge, because you want these babies alive. Then put them in a colander and under cold running water and pull off the beards. Discard any mussels that are cracked (hell, I toss any that are open at this point, as well, but I've been told that I'm over-fastidious on this point) and give the shells a light scrub to remove any sandy bits that may be clinging to them. If they are farm-raised then they will be very clean; the wild ones tend to have more true grit.

Now your sauce should be just boiling nicely

so dump those puppies in

and put a lid on them to let them vigorously simmer and cook. Now chop up a big bunch of cilantro

and in the few minutes it has taken to do this the mussels will have opened up beautifully

so dump in the cilantro

and re-cover for a few minutes more.

I realize I've been shamelessly remiss in my drinking.

This Beringer is okay, but for $12 there are much more enjoyable bottles out there. Nothing really off about it, mind you; just a run-of-the-mill wine.

Anyhow, everything looks ready

Ladle (which is a fancy term for 'dump') the contents of the pan into a nice serving dish and place it on the table along with the bread between your Beloved and yourself and dig in

and make sure there's an extra bowl nearby for the empties

Yeah, 2 pounds of mussels was just about right

And two bottles of white, naturally.

Posted by Mr. Bingley at September 18, 2007 11:32 AM



Agin, I say NUMS!

Posted by: tree hugging sister at September 18, 2007 11:45 AM

I hope Bingley daughter is learning well at your knee. Her future groom is now 6' with an appetite to match!

Posted by: Lisa at September 18, 2007 12:33 PM

She has been helping out a bit, Lisa; I'm trying to get her ready! She made the Bingley Rabe last weekend; did a good job of it too.

I guess I forgot to mention above that you only eat the ones that opened during cooking and toss the others, but since they all opened all purdy-like it slipped my mind.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 18, 2007 02:13 PM

...and place it on the table along with the bread between your Beloved and yourself...

And what did the Bingley Daughter™ consume? A Happy Meal™?

Posted by: The_Real_JeffS at September 18, 2007 05:10 PM

PS: Very tasty looking. It has me drooling......

Posted by: The_Real_JeffS at September 18, 2007 05:11 PM

"...in the few minutes it has taken to do this the mussels will have opened up beautifully"

-- in a futile attempt to escape the boiling tomato Sea of Doom!

Klingons, by the way, prefer their food alive.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 18, 2007 05:47 PM

That looks FABULOUS! I'm going to make that this weekend. YUM! Try some Washington wines. :)

Posted by: barista grazioso at September 18, 2007 07:47 PM

You know, I can't remember what she ate, Jeff; I know she carefully and most fearfully tried dipping some bread into the sauce (which she liked) but there was no way she was eating the mussels.

Which, mind you, was fine by us.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 18, 2007 10:32 PM