Cooking with Champagne
When I come across a simple recipe I tend to save the link to my blog for future reference and today I have the chance to try the Mussels Calabrian recipe which was posted by The Heart of Food because I forgot I had mussels in the fridge for Christmas Day. I made a couple of modifications like using a whole tomato instead of half and used some left over Henkell Trocken because I didn't have any white wine available. I liked how it was a very simple recipe but provided some decent simple flavour although next time I'll probably just add lemon juice rather than including the rind because I found it made the broth a bit bitter and I think adding some sugar would help round off the tomato flavour when cooking.
Unfortunately there were quite a few unopened mussels left in the pot after cooking but I still ended up eating them. If you've never eaten unopened mussels and always throw them out because you've always been told they should be then have a read of Dr Karl's Mussel myth an open and shut case. It's been a few hours now and I'm still feeling OK — fingers crossed. The biggest problem I find eating closed mussels is they can sometimes be a real bugger to open but if they smell or look at all bad then obviously do not eat them. Always buy quality mussels from reputable suppliers and if you have the time you can check if they're still alive but tapping them when open and they should close.
1 clove of garlic minced
Sprig of parsley chopped
Small stick of celery chopped
1 tomato chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 splashes of white wine (champagne seems to work too)
Black pepper to taste
Half a lemon chopped (next time would just be lemon juice)
Next time: Try adding a tablespoon of sugar
Place all ingredients in a pot. Squeeze it all together through your hands to release the juices. Place the mussels in the pot. Cover with lid and turn on to high heat. Cook and steam the mussels for a few minutes until they open. I mix and shake the juices over the mussels at least a couple of times during the cooking. Take mussels out of pot with or without broth and enjoy.
Boston Bay blue mussels ($7.99/kg De Costi Seafoods)
Place all ingredients in a pot
Place mussels in pot
Serve mussels with bread to mop up broth. I'd recommend not eating the lemon rind and perhaps sifting the broth.