Recipe: Mussels with White Wine & Tomato

~ This is Day 75 ~

I get asked how to make this quite often from friends and family so I’m just going to write this really quickly. This is my favorite way to make mussels and clams. The best part after the mussels/clams? The bread dunking into the rich broth and into your mouth part.

  • 2 lbs mussels
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes (or substitute one 14 oz. can diced tomatoes)
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • ¼ cup butter (optional)
  • ½ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon

Finely chop the onion and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Dice your tomatoes if using fresh ones. Finely chop your parsley, reserve some for garnish.

Scrub the mussels and toss out the dead/damaged ones. If they’re open and don’t close when you poke them, they’re bad. Remove the beards if they have them. Set aside.

In a large pot with lid, heat up enough olive oil to almost cover base of pot. Sweat onions and garlic until aromatic and tender. Add in diced tomatoes and thyme. Season a little with salt, turn heat to medium. Cook for 2 minutes, then add in the tomato paste and cook that out, 3-5 minutes. Add the butter if adding and let the butter emulsify with everything. Once butter has melted, add in the mussels. Turn heat to high, season with salt and black pepper, and add the white wine. Cover with lid, mussels are ready once they open completely, 5-7 minutes. Before you take them out and off the heat, add in most of your chopped parsley and the juice of half a lemon, stir to combine well. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Once in a bowl, add the remaining parsley on top as garnish. Serve with toasted bread. I always eat it with ciabatta. Any bread will suffice, pick your favorite!

*For clams, I like to add bacon and hot paprika to this.

Stracciatella Crostini

I haven’t been posting as much as late because I’ve been very busy. Busy with work, busy with life, and my parents came to visit for three weeks… so life has been quite hectic lately and I am finally settling back down to my lonesome.

I would eat burrata everyday if I could afford it… $11.99 adds up… but as of two years ago, I have discovered stracciatella and I love stracciatella even more than I love burrata… as if that could ever happen! I hope I don’t sound crazy but as a cheese enthusiast, you don’t know what you’re missing if you haven’t tried stracciatella yet. The stretchiness of the stracciatella is amazing.

Anyway, my favorite way to eat stracciatella is on toasted bread with late spring/juicy sweet summer cherry tomatoes, Serrano jamón, and a simple salsa verde, and big flakes of sea salt. Perfection. Love it.

 

 

Lobster with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

I love making pesto, other than the classic pesto. According to a NYTimes article from 2015, the large consumption of pine nuts is damaging the environment. The rising global demand for pesto has prompted unsustainable nut harvests in many regions, such as Russia and Korea. Is it worth it? No, I don’t think so. As for the basil component of pesto, although I do love a freshly-made classic pesto “alla Genovese”, it’s been-there-done-that for me. I enjoy making other pestos, substituting other greens, such as broccoli rabe or stinging nettle or even nasturtium, and substituting other nuts, such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, and even walnuts! It’s better for the environment and also, it’s cheaper too. Pine nuts are ridiculously expensive!

Here is Lobster Knuckle and Claw with Heirloom Tomatoes, a Broccoli Rabe Pesto, and Micro Thai Basil.

Burrata with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

I LOVE BURRATA!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE BURRATA!

Did I mention how much I love burrata? I LOVE BURRRRRRRATAAAAAA!!!!

I know other people love burrata too.

I served this dish right when spring began. This is fresh Burrata cheese from Murray’s Cheeses with a Broccoli Rabe Pesto over toasted Filone sourdough, Confetti Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes, Aged Apple Vinegar, and Micro Basil.

Tip: Removing Skins to Cherry Tomatoes

Have you ever tried removing skins to little cherry tomatoes? They’re so frustrating!!!! Doing them the regular way, e.g. plum tomatoes, usually overcooks them and then the skins don’t peel off easily either… However, if you torch them and char the skins, then immediately dunk them into ice water, they peel right off!

You can hear the skins crack too!

This method would work for any small sized tomato, i.e. cherry, grape, pear, baby heirloom, etc…

Spring Tomato Gazpacho

If you can believe it, spring is almost fully here in NYC. It’s almost the end of April, and the farmer’s market is still very wintery. What’s up with all these root vegetables? I’m so sick of winter.

This is a Spring Tomato Gazpacho with Pickled Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Fiddlehead Ferns, Pea Tendrils, Sunflower Seeds, and Edible Flowers (Pansies & Nasturtium).