Monday 2 December 2013

Woodsy Red Wine Mussels with Rosemary

 Red wine with mussels? RED WINE!? I can see the shock spread across your face right now, oh the travesty! Alas, fear not my friends, for I can guarantee that this unconventional mix is indeed delish! Let us not limit ourselves to red wine with red meat, remember that the famed fowl, the coq au vin, is cooked in red wine, so please, be patient with me and give this a read or even better, a try! In this dish the flowery flavour of a nice light red is accompanied by the festive pine aroma of a fresh, fragrant sprig of rosemary in addition to the heady odour of some plump green basil leaves. Combine this some of the usual suspects in the cooking of mussels, the humble carrot and onion. Throw in a hefty pinch of dried woodsy sage, some water to dilute it all and give it a good steam and voila! You've made a simple and delicious dinner. Add some house fries, homemade mayo and for all you beer drinkers, a cold pint and I daresay you're as close to pub food nirvana as you're likely to get!

Here's what we're lookin' at:
-Two pounds of fresh mussels (preferably PEI if you're Canadian)
-Two cloves of garlic
-One sprig of rosemary
-One yellow onion
-One pudgy carrot
-One hefty pinch of sage
-Half a cup of red wine, preferably something light, feel free to use leftover wine (if such a mythical creature exists)
-Half a cup of water or broth
-a few basil leaves
-1/2 tsp. salt
-One dab of olive oil

Easy peasy, first step, rinse off your mussels very carefully in a large colander in the sink.

Quarter and peel your onions, chop your carrots into slices, peel your garlic and throw all of the above mentioned in the bottom of a large pot with a dab of olive oil on medium/high heat.

As the veggies soften and suck up the oil, add the salt and the sage and stir, lightly bruise the herbs by slapping them against your hand or the counter before adding them to the mix.

Keep cooking until the mixture in the pot sticks, leaving brown silhouettes against the steel. Douse in wine  (this process is called "deglazing") and stir until you've scratched all the brown of the bottom of the pot.

Add the water and mussels quickly to this mix and cover partially, turn the heat up and let it all steam for ten minutes

Drain mussels, pour beer, dish up fries and enjoy!

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