Thursday, January 29, 2009

Expect the unexpected.

There are things that I love that I don't expect my food-loving kids to like.  Mussels for example.  I can't get enough of them, and yet when I think of feeding them to the boys, the voice of my former roommate springs to mind. "They taste like zoo," she said, whatever that means.  All I know is it wasn't a good thing.  Still, there are times when I decide to make something that isn't kid friendly just because I want to eat it.  Tonight was one of those night.   Mmmmmmm, mussels.

Then something freaky happened.  They liked them. No, scratch that, they loved them.  They each ate them as quickly as I could take them from their shells and put them on their plate.  After a bit they cut out the middle man and started eating them from the shell on their own.  A hit, I tell you.  Which is good and bad.  Bad because they ate up a giant portion of the mussels I had planned to devour, and good because now I can make them whenever I wish with the full support of the tiny dictators.  

Mussels that Don't Taste Like Zoo
(serves two adults as a meal, or 4 people as a starter)
2 lbs fresh mussels (in the shell, only live ones, cleaned and de-bearded)
1 large leek, cleaned and chopped into medium sized pieces
3 medium shallots, chopped
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup cream sherry
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste

In a big pot melt your butter.  Saute the chopped leeks and shallots until they are soft and taste slightly sweet.  Add the sherry and simmer for about a minute.  Add the cream and bring the mixture to a boil.  Dump in the mussels, cover and let cook until the mussels open.  It only takes a few minutes.

Serve in a bowl with a nice portion of the sauce from the pot and a nice hunk of bread to sop it up.

I served it with a simple salad of baby greens tossed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and kosher salt.  You can make the whole dinner in about 15 minutes.  And it's fancy enough for dinner guests.  Take that time management issues!


Christi A said...

OMG. I was SO young! (and so midwestern) I love that you remember makes me nostalgic. Were we in North Beach that night to celebrate your birthday? To this day, whenever I come across a bad mussel, the "zoo" thought still pops into my head. Like breathing in the ape house is what it takes like, lol. I had no idea it was probably just an off mussel. It took me a few years to try them again but I just LOVE mussels too and can't get enough. In SF I would hunt down the french bistros for good mussels and fries and wash them down with a nice dry white wine. I miss SF :( This is a fantastic recipe by the way...never thought of using cream sherry. I also ADORE that your boys like them too and found it hysterical that you wanted more for yourself...I completely feel you on that one :)

Christi A said... more funny thing. I have a good friend who compared the taste of sea urchin to band aids. Must be why we're friends :)

followthatdog said...

Personally I think that was one of the funniest food comments I'd ever heard. I'm addicted to mussels so I never got the reference, but it still has stuck with me.