Monday, April 11, 2011

Mussels, Monkfish, and Moving

If you bear with me (rowr!), I'll get to the food in a moment. I just wanted to give some thought to some upcoming changes in our attic apartment, namely that we will no longer be living in it. I, in fact, am sitting at my desk for the last time before I dismantle it. And the weather in Halifax is suitably rainy and blustery: just perfect for a sad little woman to put everything in a box and take it away. I stumbled across some sort-of-suitable words from Philip Larkin here, although his sentiment isn't quite what I'm feeling, but maybe the only attitude that'll get me through is the "bigger-and-better-things" ambition. But, It. Has. Been. Wonderful.

It's a sad time, but we're trying our best to celebrate what we've made here. Last Friday Katherine and I shared a bottle of wine over some special cheeses we bought from the shop down the street, along with impressively hand-made bread. What else? A gift of daffodils from the service desk at the supermarket!

That is how I choose to remember our dining room, even though it currently looks like this. How can so little look like so much, and vice versa?

Oh right, I promised I would get to the food, didn't I? We were at the supermarket buying ingredients for Katherine's famous nachos, and while I was looking to get some shrimp, I noticed that the seafood guys had been having a little too much fun.

Why not though? Who likes monkfish anyway?! But it was good advertising, since it was right next to a big display for PEI mussels for only $1.99 a pound! SO!

Sophia's guide to perfect mussels:

To store the mussels, put them in a large bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. DON'T just leave them out, and DON'T put them in water.

Act out those childhood Santa-fantasies, and remove their beards with a quick tug. If the mussels are open at this point, give them a tap against the counter. If they close up again, throw them back in, but if they don't, toss'em.

Now, you'll need:

5 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 sweet onion, diced
1 cup wine
MUSSELS! (I did about 2 pounds)
1 tbsp chives, chopped

put a large pot on high heat and throw in two tablespoons of the butter, allowing it to foam

throw in the garlic and onion and let sizzle for about 15 seconds before pouring in the wine (this part is really fun). Bring it to a boil (just a warning: this doesn't take long at ALL)

Then, add your mussels! Cover the pot and give it a good shake from tie to time. Check after 2 minutes to see if the mussels are opening. Once they're all open, they're done! So simply pour into a serving dish along with the delicious, delicious sauce. If however, some of them haven't opened, they never will, and DON'T eat them. Getting at a mussel should never be difficult.

Now, even though you've got a great liquid to serve the mussels in, I find I like to serve them with an additional dip, just in case someone doesn't think this has enough variety of flavour.

Simply melt your remaining butter and add your chives. DONE!


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