Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shellfish dinner

Let's talk about some more cheerful things, because all this negativity is just driving me insane. Friday night, we had our first mussels and clams of the season.

Bought the cooking wine, all the ingredients, and most importantly, fresh shellfish. Mussels from the east coast, and Atlantic clams. Here we go again!

This is what I'm working with. Going clockwise, from the top: herbes de provence, grape tomatoes, onion, minced garlic, unsalted butter, white wine.

Moules a la mariniere. Mussels steamed in white wine sauce.

Hot pan, drop of olive oil. Sweat off your garlic and onion. Smell - don't stop stirring until it smells fragrant. Mix in some butter, to give some richness. Toss in your herbes de provence. Make sure your mussels are brushed clean and run off any excess water beforehand. Toss them into your pan, along with your white wine. You'll be on high heat throughout, so it'll start steaming right away. Cover quickly and let it steam for no more than a minute. Stir mussels around and be careful - timing is crucial. It's so easy to overcook mussels, so take it off the heat as soon as the shells open and serve. Moules a la Mariniere, absolutely delicious.

Sorry...I didn't take any photos. Too delicious to waste time taking shitty cell phone pics. The broth was milky white, fragrant, and as authentic tasting as the mussels I ate in Nice. Not that I'm.......bragging or anything.

My clams. Fresh clam spaghetti in a clam broth sauce.

This is simple. Fresh grape tomatoes, sweated down with onions, garlic, and a touch of parsley. Throw in your white wine. Cook the clams first in water, sea salt and green onion. Keep the broth - this is the base of your sauce. Mix in a lob of butter, to thicken. Pour in your broth with the tomatoes, along with a touch of white wine. Reduce. Throw in your clams, along with your freshly cooked pasta. Mix. Fresh clam spaghetti in a clam broth sauce, absolutely delicious.

Here it is. I drank a bottle of Santenay with this - went decently, not spectacularly. This dinner helped raise my spirits, at least for a few hours. Simple, fresh, seasonal foods.

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