Food: Make an impressive appetizer (recipe)
Tribune Food Columnist
Two years ago I traveled to Italy and explored the country for more than a month. While visiting Cinque Terre on Italy’s Liguria Region, I indulged in all things mussels — stuffed mussels, steamed mussels and squid ink pasta with mussels were some of my favorites. This recipe is inspired by my Italian culinary adventure and will make a great side dish, appetizer or main course.
I like to use mussels because they are inexpensive, quick and take very little prep work. When you purchase mussels, make sure to immediately unwrap them at home so they can breathe, and store them in a cool area. Be sure to ask if the mussels you purchased are farm-raised; if not soak them in cold water for 20 minutes before cleaning. As you clean and debeard the mussels, check to make sure their shells are tightly closed. Discard any mussel that is chipped or broken. If any mussels are open, tap them gently against the counter; if they don’t close up within a few minutes throw them out. (Don’t be afraid to ask for a quick tutorial from the place you make your purchase or look online; it is simple and worth learning.)
WHITE WINE STEAMED MUSSELS
Makes 4 servings
2 pounds of mussels, clean and debeard
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. butter
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
Place the butter, oil, parsley and garlic in a large, unheated pot. Next carefully place the mussels into the pot and pour the wine over top. Cover the pot and turn the stove to med/high. Do not remove the lid for 3-5 minutes and most importantly do not preheat your pot.
The mussels should only take 3-5 minutes to open. Once the pot starts steaming give it another minute or two before removing the lid to check if all the mussels have opened. If the mussels have not all opened, give them a gentle stir and cover for another 2 minutes.
Remove the mussels from the pot and serve with the cooking liquid and some sliced bread for dipping. Enjoy!
Chef Arica Davis is owner/operator of Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit http://www.yummyfixins.com or call 530-539-4504 to book your next dinner party.