Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tis the Season to Eat Mollusks...

Yum, yum,yum, yum, yum...yum, yum, yum, yum!

I love when the weather cools and some of my favorite mollusks come in to season.  When I saw beautiful mussels at the market, I just had to buy a bag.  

After cleaning and de-bearding the mussels (I don't bother purging the mussels in flour and water, because most mussels these days are farmed and not sitting in mud) and discarding any mussels that wouldn't close or had broken shells, I started a minced clove of garlic in some olive oil in the bottom of a large pot.  After the garlic had just started to get ever so slightly brown, I added about a tablespoon of tomato paste, the juice of a lemon, a cup of dry white wine (I used some Three Buck Chuck I had on hand) , and a strong pinch of saffron threads.  I allowed this to bubble away covered for about 5 minutes on medium high heat, and then added the mussels.  I covered the pan, and gave it a good shake.  I checked the mussels after about 5 minutes and they were starting to open, so I turned off the heat and left them on the stove to finish opening.  There is nothing worse than an overcooked mussel, so as soon as I start to see a few of them are opening, I turn off the flame and let the residual heat cook the rest of the mussels through.  The finishing touch was a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley.

We served this up with a crusty whole grain baguette, and a simple salad tossed with olive oil and lemon juice, and a little vino on the side.  Much juice was sopped up with the crusty bread.  My kiddo loves mussels.  I think it is the tactile nature of eating them.  We taught him to use an empty shell to pinch the other mussels out of their shells.  

While we are talking about kiddos.  My child is a really good eater.  He has never met a fish he didn't like.  He will literally gorge himself on sardines if I will let him.  This Summer while in Florida he ate his first RAW OYSTER.  He thought it was ok, but of course he preferred the fried ones.

My point here is just to let your kids try stuff.  Don't assume that a five year old won't like fish, or any other foods.  Give them the opportunity to try new things.  You might be surprised what they like.

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