Saturday, April 28, 2007

What's for dinner?

Tonight I had a hankering for some mussels, and since today is Saturday and not Thursday, when it's all you can eat mussels and half price martinis at a local bar/restaurant we frequent here, I decided to make my own. Basing my recipe slightly from a friend of mine, who happens to be Italian and an excellent cook, I made up my soup base. After letting it simmer for an hour or so, I added the mussels for a few minutes. Add in some nice rye bread and call it dinner. Mmm, the martinis were missing, since I haven't got my shaker yet, but it sure was delicious!

Here's the recipe if you're interested, bearing in mind I didn't really measure anything!

In a large soup pot, pour in a little oil to stir fry 1 onion, a couple cloves of garlic, a couple carrots, a few sticks of celery, about 1/2 dozen baby potatoes cut into slices, 1/2 red pepper. Because cabbage soup is my all time favorite, I added in about 1/3 of a head of cabbage that I had sliced thinly. I chopped up some Italian parsley and some cilantro
(about 6 or so sprigs of each). I let the cabbage sweat down, and then added 1 large can of seasoned stewed tomatoes, 2 cans of chicken stock and some red wine. (I keep a bottle of Merlot handy for cooking) For spices, I added in a little rosemary, a little thyme, some ground pepper, some hot pepper flakes and a little bit of caraway seed (that's a key ingredient for my cabbage soup recipe). Once that was all in, I added one large can of water, and brought it all to a boil, then turned down to simmer for an hour, at which point I added the mussels. I let them steam open, which takes about 5 minutes or so. You just have to watch to see if they are open. And if any don't open, take them out and toss them. Don't pry them open and eat them. As you can see from the picture, we serve it in large soup bowls, shells and all.


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