Saturday, 27 November 2010

Pasquale's Mussels and Spaghetti with Mussels

Not my recipe this time, but rejigged and reblogged from Ιστομαγειρέματα. Thanks to postbabylon for this.

How to clean and prepare live mussels
Take the mussels and pull gently but firmly the little 'beard' they have. When you do this, the mussel closes.
DISCARD the ones that haven't closed after a few minutes. Give them a good wash, cleaning them of barnacles and whatever dirt they may have. Ready to cook.

For Pasquale's Mussels (serves -in our case 2 +2 next day)
1 kilo of mussels
1 large onion or 2 small ones, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can of tomato + 1 carton of passata (if you have nice and over-ripe tomatoes it's clearly better)
2 whole dried chili peppers (or chilli flakes)
Salt & pepper
The original said sugar, but I didn't put because I used...
...1/3 of a bottle of medium white wine
Fresh parsley if you have it, chopped

In a large saucepan sauté onions, garlic and chili peppers in some olive oil. Add the tomatoes with a drop of water (if you're using passata) and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it's reduced. Add the mussels, wine and salt & pepper, and allow to cook for about 15 minutes (they say 5 for mussels but I'm not taking any chances). All mussels should have opened by now. DISCARD any that haven't opened-getting food poisoning isn't worth it :-)

Serve with some rice and sprinkle your freshly chopped parsley on top.

Spaghetti with mussels (or mussel sauce)
You will have either a fair quantity of mussels left, or maybe just the sauce.

Re-heat the mussels. In another saucepan boil some spaghetti. Drain the spaghetti and return to the saucepan. Using a soup ladle, take the mussel sauce and mix it with the spaghetti, until you're happy it's enough. Serve the spaghetti with the mussels on top. Italians in general don't go for grated cheese with seafood, but Mrs M. grated some parmesan none the less.

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Friday, 19 November 2010


Κυπριακά δαμαί

How procrastination works (a real case study)
You're sitting at your desk, working on something important (a job application in this case).
You feel like having a cup of coffee.
You get up and go to the espresso machine. You press the button and realise that the machine is getting a bit clogged up, it could do with some cleaning at some point.
You find the leaflet with the instructions (you can see where this is going, can't you?)
You open the cupboard where you keep the tools. You take out the little case with the screwdrivers. You unscrew the filter head, give it a good wash and screw it back in. 
You put the tools away. You heat the water, put coffee in the filter and make yourself a nice, double espresso.
You sit down again.
You blog your findings for the benefit of the procrastinating masses out there.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Pizzas pizzas pizzas

In Cypriot here.
My friend Antonis was here for a few days and one night we made a few pizzas with Federica's dough recipe.
600 gr. of village flour made 3 large ones.

Pizza the First

We topped the first pizza with:
Courgettes, cut in strips and grilled in advance
Artichokes (from a jar)

Pizza the Second
For the second one we roasted in advance half a butternut squash with some butter, garlic and sage leaves in the cavity. When it cooked we melted it onto the pizza base (instead of tomato) and topped it with:

Sage leaves
Red onions
Brie (in place of goat's cheese)
Balsamic vinegar

Pizza the third
We made the third one in two halves with whatever was left. Half we topped with anchovies and the other half with ham. Then we added:
Fresh tomatoes
Red onions
Parmesan rind

I made the snail for my little girl with the rest of the dough. She had fun, I baked it and she ate it (until we go back to Cyprus for some real snails).
The pizzas were lovely. I'd invite you round but we polished them...