...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sundays on the patio with Julia

We practically live on the patio in the spring, cool summer mornings and evenings, and in the fall. Sunday was no different. After cleaning up a bit, shopping a bit, it was time for eating a bit! I married a man who, bless his heart, grew up on chicken fried steak , mashed potatoes with paste gravy, green beans and iceberg lettuce. So in the 35 years we've been married, I've taken his taste buds on a never ending journey.

When I was a young girl living in France, I was lucky enough to get to go with friends to the Atlantic coast where we picked Moules off the rocks early in the mornings while the tide was still out. I can remember wearing heavy, thick gloves because those rascals were stuck "real good" on those rocks. Then we would cook them on the beach, eat them and then drain down the liquid in which they were cooked. Yummy. So Sunday we had Moules for lunch. I am so thankful for United Market Street and their knowledgeable fish mongers who pay careful attention when selecting mussels. When you purchase them, they must be closed! Bring them home, place them in a bowl of either salted, cold water or water into which you've added some cornmeal. Both the cornmeal and the salt agitate the mussels to cleanse themselves. Remove any barbs and leave them in the water until you are ready for the cooking step. Then drain well before adding to the pot.

Mussels Steamed in White Wine
Moules Marinière

4 tbs butter
1 cup minced onions
1 large clove of garlic, pureed, optional
a large handful of chopped fresh parsley
4 quarts fine fresh mussels
2 cups dry white wine or dry white French Vermouth

Melt the butter in a kettle, stir in the onions and optional garlic, and cook slowly for several minutes until limp. Then add the parsley and the mussels, cover the kettle and shake once to mix all the ingredients. Pour in the vermouth or wine and shake once again. Turn heat to high, cover tightly, and let steam for 3 to 4 minutes (without shaking), just until the mussels have opened.

Dip the mussels out, shells and all, into the soup bowls. Tip the kettle and ladle the fragrant cooking liquor into each serving bowl. Serve with a fresh baguette, real butter, and a bottle of wine.

Merci milles fois, Julia Child. Bon Appetit!

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