What do you cook for a friend who you haven't been in contact for some time? Top it off with limited cooking time knocking off work before she arrives? I chose fresh seafood- spotting some mussels at our local seafood store.
I have often associated mussels with university life. The late-night-1am-I-want-a-feed-and-where-else-is-open-in-Perth? sort of food. Chili mussels with greasy oily garlic bread and pizzas at a
"Open till late" doggy place was what we ate mostly.
It really wasn't that doggy, it's still operating after that many number of years. Possibly survived by the number of night owl students who enjoy the hit of chili in the dead of the night.
Cleaning mussels wasn't too big a drama as well. Soaking it with fresh water for 20 minutes or so, then I pulled the beard off closer to the end of the shell rather than the opening. I scrubbed each shell with a little dish scrub buds and it was clean and shiny in a breeze. Keeping it fresh was another story, we placed a damped dish cloth over the bowl, emptying the water (Probably from the mussels) at the end of each day. Even so, I discarded any that have been opened in the process. From buying to cooking them- that was 4 days. I probably wouldn't leave it as long next time.
I learned that mussels isn't doggy. It can be classy too. Pairing with some spicy chorizo, fresh tomatoes, plenty of chopped celery and carrots, the sauce was delicious! I wish I had some bread to dipped into this rather than just pasta.
I had a smile when she asked for second helpings.
Spicy Chorizo Tomato with Fresh Mussels (Serves 6)
1 spanish chorizo sliced
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 onion diced
2 cans of diced tomatoes
4 fresh tomatoes
1 chili padi
1/2 bunch of celery diced
2 carrots peeled and diced
1 kg of cleaned mussels
300 grams of cooked pasta
Saute chorizo till cooked. Add garlic and onions and cooked till soft. When ready, pour in the cans of tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. Give it a good stir. Add 1/2 cup of water if needed. Toss in all the veges and seasoned. Simmer for around 15 minutes till vegetables are well cooked. Then, add in the fresh mussels. Cover the pot. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes till mussels are opened and cooked. Toss through pasta and serve
food brings people together, regardless of culture and country of origin. imagine this space like a huge dining table-filled with home cooked food, with people sharing, loving and eating. eat and enjoy.