Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mussel bound

My brother, the food salesman, brought us some fish the other night, packed in Cryovac and ready to cook. Portico Seafood. He brought Louisiana drum (redfish) fillets, clams and mussels.

My missus can't eat mussels. Swells her tummy. After tonight, I might join her. We shall sea.

I ate enough mussels in Bastogne, Belgium, one night to create my own battle of the bulge. But, even with the plethora of ales, it never came. I have a tank to fill when it comes to moules. "Some mussels and french fries, a couple of Belgian ales, and I'm in heaven," said Pete Nicholls one night somewhere. That Bastogne night must have put me in the league of angels.

With mademoiselle out shooting a wedding, I made this, inspired by Jamie Oliver's Italian book:

Fry some garlic in olive oil and, before it browns, add a pinch of capers, six cherry tomatoes, a dried ancho chili (I used two chiles en adobo — some like it hot), and some parsley if you have it. Then boil some pasta and remove with tongs or one of those pasta spoons, to leave the water going, then chunk in one bag of Portico mussels. It holds, like, a thousand. Toss the lot of it back into the boiling pot and splash once again with your best olive oil.

Holy sea-change, what a dish. And get this: It went better with the house red (for now, Bota Box Old Vine Zin, a fat, juicy red) than it did a Red Guitar rose.

This from Sysco: "Across all three of these lines, Sysco's industry leading Quality Assurance (QA) program ensures that the Portico seafood you serve was not only properly harvested, but also inspected, processed and transported with all of the care your customers deserve. With Portico seafood on your menu, your customers can order with total confidence — and with bon app├ętit!"

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