Friday, February 4, 2011

Top Cheffage: Antonia's Mussels

antonia's mussels
time for dinner

If rabid Glee followers are called Gleeks, then would Top Chef addicts foaming at the mouth and in the early stages of delirium tremons around 7 pm every Wednesday be called Top Cheeks? Doesn't have quite the same panache, now does it?

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mussels, precleaned

This week's episode was a great one although the Quick Fire was maybe the dumbest thing on TV, paralleled in uselessness only by Isac Mizrahi's The Fashion Show. Well, not completely useless. We got the satisfaction of hearing Dale say he doesn't give a shit what a bitchy queen who doesn't eat thinks about the way his food looks. OK, I admit it. The idiocy of the Quick Fire was completely entertaining. And Antonia's winning mussels looked amazing.

antonia's mussels1
parsley, garlic & fennel, shallots

I used to make mussels for D when we were courting. I would make a classic Belgian preparation, with white wine and lots of garlic and butter. Sometimes I would throw in a jalapeno pepper and some stalks of lemon grass while easing up on the garlic, and maybe add a little bit if coconut milk. I haven't made them in years. Yet, they are quick and easy and D love love loves them.

antonia's mussels2
1) saute shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds and salt in olive oil, 2) soften sliced fennel bulb in mixture with butter added, 3) add liquid and bring to simmer, 4) reduce and add herbs

Bravo printed Antonia's recipe, as interpreted by Rick Moonen. I threw them together after work last night in about 30 minutes while watching Notting Hill in the kitchen. I am turning into my mom. Because I was making mussels, I wanted to make the changes to the recipe in black. I used green instead, for clarity.

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saute mussels in reduced liquid with lid on for 2-4 minutes


1 bunch parsley
2 pounds black Canadian mussels
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 fennel bulbs, shaved thin
1 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 sprigs marjoram
salt, to taste
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups white wine
1 cup clam juice

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supper's on

I helped D with his Spanish class while we ate, and eventually fell asleep on the couch leaning over a pile of flash cards.

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Yo sueno en la  sofá con frecuencia.

5 comments:

the actor's diet said...

i love that you made this! i was thinking last night i'd love to try those winning mussels....

tgirl said...

The first meal you ever cooked for me was your mussels. Love at first bite. xoxo

weezermonkey said...

Top Cheeks > Gleeks

Food, she thought. said...

@AD: try them at home, they are healthy and easy!

@T funny, i remember roasting a chix for you first in my k-town apartment. :-D

@weezer word, girl.

Gastronomer said...

These mussels look fabulous :-) I can't believe I've never made 'em. This one goes on my to-make list!