Almost a fool-proof dish, and very healthy. Low in calories, high in potassium and, most importantly, very tasty. Also flexible. If you don't have olive oil, butter works. If you don't like fennel (though you must at least try it) skip it and add tomatoes, basil and shallots instead. I've even used red or rose wine in a pinch. Whatever you do, don't throw out the liquid. Serve this with bread, the traditional "frites" or pasta to soak up every last bit.
2-3 pounds of mussels
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced thin
1 large onion, sliced
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs such as Italian Parsley
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
Long gone are the days of soaking mussels to get rid of the sand, most are line grown and grit free by the time they reach your kitchen, especially if you get them from a great place like the Southold Fish Market. Be sure to rinse them well, however. You can gently rip off the beards if you find any. Make sure to check closely for open or cracked ones, those you can discard. Once clean, cover with a moist towel and keep cold until you are ready to use them.
Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add fennel at let cook about 5 minutes until soft. Add onions and garlic, cook until softened about 4 more minutes. Add a pinch of salt to prevent browning if you'd like.
Add mussels to pot with herbs, scallions, white wine, a dash of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir, cover and let cook until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any that are not open.
Grab a crusty loaf of bread, a cold bottle of Chardonnay (Paumanok Festival, 2009) and a big bowl for the shells. Enjoy!
Rarely, if ever, do I rave about a single vineyard, especially when I visit the North Fork and there are so many I love. One Woman Wines in Southold is the exception. Their casual and relaxed vibe seems in contrast to the extreme care that goes into this production, but it all harmonizes beautifully to create spectacular wines. The only "problem" with One Woman is that, outside of Long Island Wine Country, this label is hard to come by. Not to worry, make a trip or at least visit the website and place an order!
In the video, I enthusiastically taste 3 exquisite wines, a Rose, a Gerwuztraiminer, and their Estate Reserve Chardonnay, but Claudia Purita, the profoundly dedicated owner, also makes a lovely Sauvignon Blanc, another Chardonnay, and a Merlot that might hit the shelves by Thanksgiving. (One can only hope!)
If you make it out to the North Folk, please visit the vineyard in Southold and stop by D'Latte - One Woman Wine and Bakery on Main Street in Greenport which is owned by Claudia's husband, Frank. They serve terrific hand-crafted gelato, a variety of fresh baked goods, and best of all, One Woman Wines by the glass. Cheers!
Here is what we enjoyed on this last post from Madrid: The wines were Protos Verdejo, 2008 a white from the Rueda Region made with Verdejo, Casa de la Ermita, 2008, a rose from Jumilla made with Grenache and Mouvedre and Bodegas Porsellanes' Entrepins, 2008, a red from Valencia made with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The cheese plate included Manchego, Tetilla, and Membrillo, and the cured meats were Jamon Serrano, Salchichon and Lomo Curado. Soooo good!
As my friend Jerry said, one of the three most important things in making a good cocktail is a recipe, so here is what he made. The other two things are fresh juices and plenty of ice. Thanks, Jerry. That was great fun.
1 1/2 oz Spanish brandy such as Carlos Primero 1/2 oz orange liqueur such as Cointreau 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
Chill glasses and cocktail shaker. Place ingredients in shaker with lots of ice. Cover and shake well. Moisten rim with cut lemon, coat with sugar. Turbinado or raw sugar makes a nice choice. Strain cocktail into class, garnish with lemon.
1 1/2 oz white rum such as 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice 3/4 oz Rosso Vermouth (sweet) 1 dash Grenadine syrup 1-2 dashes white Creme de Cacao
Chill glasses and cocktail shaker. Measure and place ingredients in shaker with lots of ice. Cover and shake well. Strain cocktail into glass, garnish with lime.
Hi all, I'm getting ready to fly off to Spain to talk about wine, food and blogging. Bringing the whole family so we can do some posts about it. I thought I'd take this opportunity to link to some of my older posts that include Spanish wines. The wines of Spain have both long standing tradition and modern innovation. Interesting, accessible, established, it's all there. Plus, TAPAS! I'll come back with lots of great food and wine info. In the meantime, take a peek and what I've already covered.
Sunny Spain - A primer of Spain with a link to a Spanish Tortilla Recipe.