Thursday, September 10, 2009
Simple Suppers: Black Mussels with Saffron, Baby Tomatoes & Basil
Ah, it's so nice to be back on LA, hanging with the Adorable Monster, who by the way continues to be both adorable and monstrous, and cooking up great food! I have more restaurant reviews from my West Coast trip coming your way as well as tons of great recipes! In the meantime, I'm happy to announce a new series of posts called "Simple Suppers" that will feature easy, healthy recipes for busy divas. The first recipe I'm featuring is for Black Mussels with Saffron, Baby Tomatoes & Basil.
I know the idea of cooking mussels can sound intimidating, and many people stick to ordering them in restaurants, but I'm here to tell you that they are actually one of the easiest things in the world to cook! Not only that, but they're protein and mineral packed and very affordable, usually costing only around $4 a pound. This dish should take under thirty minutes to cook, from start to finish. For a compete meal, pair it with a quick mixed greens salad and some toasted bread to sop up the sauce. Enjoy!
Note: When buying mussels, make sure they are all closed. If they're beginning to open, that means they're not fresh. Also, ask that your fishmonger not wrap them in a plastic bag - it suffocates them. A mesh bag or just plain paper works best. Upon returning home, unwrap them and store in the refrigerator. If possible, consume the same day after purchase.
Domestic Diva's Black Mussels with Saffron, Baby Tomatoes & Basil
Serves 2-3 people
2 lb black mussels, scrubbed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup baby tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp saffron
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
In a big pot with a lid (I use my braising pan), heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallots and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes). Then, add the tomatoes and continue to cook until soft (another 5 minutes). Add the white wine, 1 tbsp basil & saffron and simmer for a few minutes to reduce the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the mussels and cover tightly. Cook them for about 6-8 minutes, or until all of the mussels have opened to indicate they're done.
To serve, pour the mussels and sauce into a large serving bowl. Squeeze with the lemon juice and top with a little fresh cracked pepper and the remaining 1 tbsp basil. Enjoy!
Source for Ingredients:
black mussels from Hollywood Farmers Market
organic baby tomatoes & organic shallot from Whole Foods
spanish saffron & white wine from Trader Joes
Music on Tap:
Air - Moon Safari
From the esteemed French duo, this is my favorite of their albums and the first I ever heard from them. Kuzak brought it out to Harvard during a visit my freshman year of college, and I instantly fell in love with the group. This is a must listen to album!
On another note, I'm off to see Nine Inch Nails tonight at the Wiltern for their final farewell show!! I promise to report back on the concert.