Archive for the ‘One pot’ Category

KimchiFriedRice3I think everyone has certain rules or considerations before people can be considered as friends.  There are obvious considerations such as not being a complete tool or tosser in order to be looked upon as a friend… unless you like those qualities in people.  Some people prefer to limit their friendships with folks who have like-minded religious or political beliefs.  Ok, cool.  That’s fine.  I have certain rules and guidelines as well.  I can’t be friends with people who don’t like to suck the brains and guts out of shrimp heads when eating whole shrimp, or are grossed out when I do.  For those of you who don’t do that, you don’t know what you’re missing.  I also can’t be friends with people who refuse to try kimchi.  It’s cool if you don’t like it but as long as you’ve tried it.  But to flat out say that you won’t even taste it… that’s the culinary equivalent of being a narrow-minded bigot if you ask me.

I kid, I kid.

I’m not that serious, but you can see the point I’m getting at.  I often ask people who refuse to eat or try kimchi why they won’t taste it.  I get responses such as, “Isn’t it fermented?  Meaning that it’s rotten cabbage?”  Why yes.  Yes it is.  I often follow that up with counter questions of my own.  “Do you like cheese?  Oh you do?  Well you realize that’s rotten milk, right?”  “Do you like wine?  Oh you do!?  You realize that’s rotten grape juice, right?”  “Do you like beer?  Who am I kidding… of course you do!  You realize that’s rotten barley juice, right?”  And finally, “do you like sauerkraut?  Perhaps with your Rueben sandwich or with your hotdogs and brats?  Oh you do?  Well what do you know… kimchi is pretty much the exact same thing except spicier.”  Free your minds, people.KimchiFriedRice1

I’ve seen kimchi fried rice on menus in Korean restaurants before but I’ve never taken the plunge in ordering it.  I’ve of course had my fair share of kimchi and would be very happy eating it with plain rice.  Cold kimchi and hot rice is a typical lunch in Korea for the working class and it’s more than enough to make me happy.  But I started thinking about other uses for the kimchi I had bought at the local Asian store and decided to scour the internet for a kimchi friend rice recipe. One of my favorite accompaniments for kimchi is barbecue and I recently made a rack of ribs (that’s another post for another time) that went perfect with it.  The sweetness of the barbecue sauce with the richness of the fatty ribs with white rice and a side of cold spicy/sour/acidic kimchi hits a lot of flavor combinations that would make any palette dance.  But I wanted to try something different and dug up a kimchi friend rice recipe that I made some tweaks to form my own

Ingredients

-Previously cooked rice.  Preferably cooked 1-2 days before.  Enough for 3 servings or so.

-1 carrot

-Several shiitake mushrooms

-3-4 green onions (spring onions)

-Several garlic cloves (or less if you prefer)

-1 cup of kimchi

-Vegetable cooking oil

-1 egg per serving

-Salt and pepper

KimchiFriedRice2Start by heating cooking oil in a wok or large pan.  As the oil gets hot, julienne cut the carrot, chop up the shiitake mushrooms, chop up the green onions (save some for garnish), and mince the garlic.  Toss the julienned carrot, chopped up shiitake mushrooms/green onion, and minced garlic and let the flavors combine and soften.

As it’s softening, cut up the kimchi in a bowl using kitchen shears which would be a perfect tool.  The reason you’re cutting kimchi in a bowl is because if you do it on a cutting board, it will stain it and perhaps even leave a lingering smell.

Add the cut up kimchi to the wok and mix it in to incorporate it with the rest of the vegetables.  Add in the rice, and break up the clumps with the back of the spoon so that individual grains can pick up the sauce brought about from the kimchi and vegetable mixture.  It should have a light red tint.  Add salt and pepper as needed.

Before plating, fry a sunny side up egg on a separate pan.  Plate the fried rice, sprinkle some of the remaining chopped up green onion, and land the sunny side up fried egg on top.  Enjoy with Korean barbecue, or your own barbecue concoction such as ribs, beef brisket, or even pulled pork.  I’d put this up against any other version of friend rice around Asia as well (Chinese, Filipino, Nasi Goreng from Indonesia, etc.).

Plus for those out there who have yet to try kimchi, this is a great way to get an initial taste before eating it as an accompanying side dish as it is meant to be.

Plum & Lime Jam.jpgWalking through one of our local supermarkets recently I had a flash back to childhood when I saw mountains of delicious red plums on sale… not just for sale but on sale for a ridiculously low price! J. watched with wide eyes as I kept adding more and more plums to my bag! I explained to him that mum used to make plum jam at home and nothing tastes quite as delicious as homemade jam.

The plums weren’t completely ripe so I decided to wait until the weekend to make my jam. During the week I kept trying to think of another ingredient I could put with the plums to make it a little more interesting and possibly even more delicious. It wasn’t until Saturday morning when I was getting prepared to start cooking that I looked down and saw some limes… Plum and lime jam – of course!

My mum’s recipe is 1:1 ratio of fruit and sugar… delicious, yes but high in sugar so I thought I would play with it a bit. I used 4 pounds of red plums that I cut in half and took out the seed. I didn’t cut them smaller because I wanted my jam to have some chunks of fruit in it. Plums and Sugar.jpg

My 4 pounds of halved plums went into a large. I had tasted the plums and they were really quite sweet so I decided to just add a single cup of sugar to the pot. I thought I could always add more later if it wasn’t sweet enough, but in the end I didn’t need to.

I put this pot onto the stove on a medium heat to start the stewing process. I added 1/2 cup of lime juice to the pot and stirred everything together. How easy is that! I just left everything to bubble away while I cooked some other things (fresh bread, triple chocolate marble mudcake – posts to come soon on those!)

Bubbling away.jpgI occasionally stirred the mixture to make sure it wasn’t sticking and also tasted it a couple of times to see if it was too tangy and needed more sugar. Once it was the consistency I wanted – jammy! I turned off the heat and let it cool. While it was cooling I sterilized a few jars.

I loved how this turned out, it was both sweet and tangy. The lime really gave the plums a zesty lift and made sure that the jam wasn’t just completely sweet. J. tried it out on some of the bread I had just baked and really enjoyed it. He like that it was tangy and tasted so purely of plum!

I really enjoyed making this. I haven’t ever made jam by myself and have only watched my mum do it when I was really young. I really only remember licking the spoon. For a first time effort I think I did well. We have a large supply of plum and lime jam now so I won’t need to make any for a while. I might even give some away as edible gifts… always a yummy present. It might make a great Christmas gift in a few months since it is such a fabulously festive color.

Now I just need to think of some other interesting jam combinations!

PeaandBaconBone.jpgI thought we would start back with an oldie but a goody! Pea and ham soup used to be one of my favorite winter dishes growing up… who would love the delicious combination that is the salty, savory flavor we get from split peas, ham bones, onion, potato… oh you get the idea.

Back in the colder months (seems so long ago since we have been averaging over 100F for what seems like eternity), I thought I would whip up this delight for J. He had never actually tried this before and he has an irrational aversion to peas… peas of any kind! I don’t understand the terror and disgust he feels when I suggest anything that could come even close to a pea!Carrot & Potato.jpg

Somehow I convince him he would like this since I puree up all the veggies and dried split peas aren’t anything like green peas!

Unfortunately we couldn’t find any ham bones and had to run the risk of using something I hadn’t tried before in bacon bones but I wasn’t too worried because it was bacon… bacon makes everything better! The night before I was going to cook this I soaked 500 grams of

Split Peas.jpggreen split peas in water. I just covered the peas with water and left them overnight.

The next day… I roughly chopped a large white onion, 4 large garlic cloves and 2 shallots. I softened these in some olive oil in our large soup pot. Once these had softened I added 3 diced potatoes, 3 chopped carrots and a bunch of celery. I recommend getting a large pot for this because it gets very full very fast!

I mixed all of those ingredients together and let them cook for a few minutes. While this was cooking away, I drained my The bones.jpgsoaked green split peas. Once I had got most of the water out of those I added them to the pot and mixed everything together. To this I added my ½ dozen large bacon bones and 1/2 cup of tomato paste.

I had tried to get some bones bits of meat still on them because I love getting those chunks when I am eating the soup.

I carefully mixed all of this together and then added 2 cups of chicken stock and then water until everything was just covered.  This just sat and bubbled away for 2 hours while we did whatever we did back then… we were probably watching football knowing how we usually spend our winters.

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When this had cooked for 2 hours I carefully removed all the bones, scraping off any meat that was still somehow clinging to the bones! With a stick blender I puréed everything together and it was ready!

We served up giant bowls of soup with some crusty bread and sat down to eat. J studied it carefully before tasting it slowly… then he took a second spoonful, and then another! Yay! I had him eating peas, even if it was mixed with bacon and puréed beyond recognition.

So even though it is over 100F here back home in Australia it is the perfect weather for something like this… and those of us lucky to be in summer will just have to keep for the colder weather… whenever that arrives!

Slow Cooked Chicken & Mushroom.jpgA couple of weeks ago it snowed here in Phoenix. Now certain parts of Arizona get snow throughout the winter however Phoenix is not one of them! I was sitting in my office at work, looking out my window and white stuff started falling from the sky. J. thought this was the best thing ever, I however wasn’t impressed since I moved to Arizona to escape the craziness of Melbourne weather…

The snow however did inspire a hearty slow cooked chicken and mushroom recipe!

I made this one up as I went along but I was really happy with it.

First thing first I chopped up 4 large cloves of garlic, 2 large shallots and peeled about 20 small brown onions. I cut the onions in half as well.

J Doing Prep.jpg

In a frying pan I heated up about a tablespoon of olive oil and added some sprigs of fresh thyme. In small batches I then seared the chicken thighs. I had seasoned these first with salt and pepper. Skin side down first to get it nicely browned and crispy. I used 8 large chicken thighs for this recipe.

After these were all brown and crispy I set them aside… Note that I didn’t cook these all the way through.

I dug out our slowcooker from the back of our kitchen cabinet and set to work putting the deliciousness in. On the base I put fresh sprigs of thyme and rosemary. I then layered the chicken, the onions and freshly chopped mushrooms on top of that. I added more thyme and rosemary as I went. I used a mixture of Portobello and Button mushrooms for this – about 4 cups of mushrooms in total.

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In the pan I had browned the chicken in I cooked the chopped garlic and shallots. When they had started to soften I deglazed the pan with 1 cup of white wine. I let this simmer for about 2 minutes before adding 2 cups of chicken stock and freshly cracked black pepper. Again I just let this simmer for a couple of minutes before carefully pouring it over the layers of chicken, onion and mushrooms in the slowcooker.

I put a couple of more thyme and rosemary sprigs on top before closing the lid and let is cook away for 4 hours.

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The smell the permeated the house was just amazing… it made me sooo hungry for the entire afternoon.

When it was cooked I strained all the juices into a pan and let them reduce. While this was happening J. whipped up some quinoa for us to eat with the chicken. The juices became a thick, rich and yummy sauce which we poured over the tender, falling off the bone chicken, juicy mushrooms and delicious onions.  . Of course the skin didn’t stay crispy but it didn’t matter, it was still nice and brown though and tasty.

Stuffed slowcooker.jpgIt may not look so delicious but it tasted fantastic! Considering I made this up on the spot it was a huge success… J. loved it – really, really loved it. Which was a good thing since we had a huge amount to eat for lunches for the rest of the week. Finally an experimental success! And a perfect meal for those snowy? desert days!

Seafood Laksa.jpgI know you have all probably realised by now that J. and I are huge fans of Asian food. Whether it is Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Filipino or Thai, we love it. We will often have this kind of food during the week as our lunches or dinners. Possibly the number 1 choice for Thai food is seafood laksa. We don’t make it from scratch, though I would love to one day, we do the lazy laksa from a bottle… though we do mix it up a little and not just follow the instructions on the bottle.

Laksa Paste.jpg

First thing is of course to get the laksa mix from your local Asian supermarket, we have used a few different ones over the years but the one shown here is probably the most commonone we have used. In our wok I heated a small amount of canola oil until it was nearly smoking. Into the oil I put 4 heaped tablespoons of the laksa paste, stirring it around until it became really fragrant.Seafood in Broth.jpg

To the oil and paste I added 1 red jalapeno chilli and 4 thai chillies mixing these through the paste. I had finely chopped these in preparation for this. I cook this for about 30 seconds before pouring in 1 1/2 cups of cold water. I slowly bring this all to a simmer before adding in my seafood.

You could pretty much use any seafood you like for this we usually use shrimp and scallops. So I added our shelled shrimps to the broth and cooked for about 2 minutes before adding in the scallops. I stirred this around for a minute or so and then let it simmer very gently.

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While that was cooking I prepared the rest of the laksa ingredients. I drained 1 tin of bamboo shoots and set them aside. I also cut into cubes 2 packets of fried tofu and also cut and washed 6 small bunches of baby bok choy. I then roughly chopped a bunch of cilantro and set it aside. The tofu then got added to the seafood and broth and mixed in.

I let the tofu cook for a couple of minutes before adding in the bamboo shoots and bok choy. I like both of these to still be a little crunchy so after mixing them through I only cook for another minute or so. This is when I add the coconut milk (2 tins) and mix it through. When this has heated completely I take the laksa off the heat.Add Veggies.jpg

The last things I put into this are the chopped cilantro and the juice of 1 lime. I find the acid of the lime just adds a little extra zing to the laksa. I then just gently mix all of this together and it is ready to serve. I usually sever this over steamed rice.

It is such a great meal for winter, it really warms me to my toes. J absolutely loves this and more often than not I have to cut him off after 3 helpings because he will eat himself into a laksa coma. I love the broth and will often eat this without rice, which J. just can’t fathom. It Ready to Eat.jpgis the perfect mix of stir fry meets soup for my liking… so spicy and delicious.

Obviously the easiest way to make this is just follow the directions on the bottle but I like our little version of lazy laksa, it makes me feel like I am cheating a little less by making it my own. Plus J. and I always need that little bit of extra heat!

Chutney Gift.jpgThis is just a quick post about the other edible Christmas gifts I gave to friends. A while back I made giant pot of spicy tomato chutney. Being who I am I shared it with a bunch of people including my two soon to be bosses. Both of them took a strong liking to it. Using it with cheese, fish and chicken.

I decided as a Christmas gift for them I would bottle up some of the chutney. I bought some nice decorative looking pickling jars… they only cost $1.50 each so what a bargain is that! I filled both jars up with the yummy delicious chutney, sealed them and decorated them with blue bows.

I played Santa on Tuesday and delivered these yummy gifts. They were so excited and happy to receive them, not to mention surprised. Both of them had plans for the chutney and I am pretty sure it won’t last long. I might have to make a new batch in the New Year when I start my new job.

What an easy, affordable and cute gift… one that was so well received!

You can check out my original blog post here or get the recipe here.

Ma's Bolognese Sauce.jpgOur family loves food. Every major event and significant occasion has been marked with food and accompanied with wine. From a young age I can remember my mum in the kitchen cooking. Coming home from school to freshly made snacks, dinners of lasagne, spaghetti and other delicious goodies.

Even now, 17 years after I last lived at home with Mum and Dad my favorite recipes are those that Mum made when I was little. These are the recipes I know by heart, even though they can be found in my tattered and stained recipe book, handwritten by mum, for when I first moved out of home. I love the smell of the house when I have made one of these recipes but particularly her bolognese/lasagne meat sauce. My new home starts to smell like my childhood home.

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There aren’t many things about my life that you would call traditional but when it comes to bolognese sauce I am a traditionalist. I have only ever made tiny alterations to my mum’s recipe,while my brothers have changed it completely to suit their tastes. My reasoning… why mess with perfection.

I am going to make this a two part blog entry. This one, Part 1 will focus on the delicious meat sauce that you can use for bolognese and lasagne. Later in the week I will do a lasagne entry, showing how I use this sauce for lasagne.

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I shared this recipe with J. a long time ago when we were living on opposite sides of the world. He made it for lasagne and loved it, until I made it for him. His was good, mine was great, my Mum’s… well it’s perfection!

Ok, so in a large pot heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When it is hot throw in one finely chopped white onion and 3 garlic cloves, crushed. I also add in my herbs at this point, if I have them I use fresh but dried herbs work just fine too. Into the pot goes 1/2 tablespoon of oregano, basil and rosemary, as well as salt and pepper to taste.

Herbs.jpg

I usually let the onion and garlic soften for up to 5 minutes before adding in 4 strips of bacon chopped roughly. Is there a better smell in the world than bacon, garlic and onion in olive oil!! Sooo drool inducing.

When the bacon starts to brown I add in 600 grams of ground beef. Now, you can use a mix of meats which I have done before. I have combined pork and beef before and also had veal as well. Traditionally I just use beef.

Meat.jpg

I stir the beef regularly making sure it is all browning. When you can’t see anymore pink I add in the crushed tomatoes. You need to just add 1 300 gram tin of crushed or diced tomatoes. Occasionally, I will add fresh tomatoes. I did this time, just putting 3 large tomatoes into boiling water (with the bottoms scored) for a few minutes. Then I just peeled and chopped and added them to the beef, seeds and all.

Browned.jpg

In a small bowl I mix together 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1/2 cup of chicken stock and a splash of red wine. I make sure the tomatoes and beef are completely mixed together before gently pouring the tomato paste mixture over the top. I mix all of this through carefully and bring the pot to a boil. Once it is bubbling I reduce the heat to a simmer and push 2 bay leaves below the surface of the sauce. Then I just let it sit and simmer for 3 hours, sometimes longer. Yesterday I let is simmer for nearly 5 hours. The liquid will reduce and it becomes nice and thick. If you need to add more liquid put in some more tomato paste and chicken stock or even a splash more wine.

Tomatoes.jpg

Some alterations I make to this… well the wine is something I usually add in if Ihave a good red wine in the house. If it is just J. and I eating I will sometimes add some chillies to the garlic and onion mix. Other than that I stick with Mum’s recipe.

This is such a yummy bolognese sauce. It has a deep, rich flavor that works really well in lasagne but just as well with some linguine noodles. I actually froze a bunch of this for J. and I when we return from our Australian vacation, Tomato sauce.jpgso it is a great one to make big quantities of. I also like the left over spaghetti bolognese on a grilled sandwich the next day… yum!

I am lucky that my Mum instilled in me a love of cooking… now every major event in mine and J’s lives revolves around food… and for me anyway, wine. This is now one our recipes that we make to share with friends and family here.

Recipes that I am proud to pass on to friends, family and strangers that my mum gave to me, really are the best kind of recipe! I guess it is really a not so secret family recipe.

Chicken & Mushroom noodle soup.jpgLast night I was craving chicken soup. Every time we go to Vegas it feels like both J. and I come down with the flu or a cold. With our trip home to Australia only 2 weeks away we are worried about getting sick and we need to chase away any chance of illness. I think this is why I was craving some chicken soup.

This soup is a twist on your regular chicken noodle soup and the way we make it it also has some kick to it.

In a large soup pot I heated about 2 tablespoons of canola oil. To the hot oil I added 4 large cloves of garlic that I had chopped finely. I also added 1 finely sliced brown onion. I let this cook for a minute to soften.

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While that is cooking I skin 4 large chicken thighs that are still on the bones. After removing the skin I cut the thighs into nigh chunks, leaving the bones in and then added this to the onion and garlic. I took a few minutes to brown the chicken well in the pot.

When the chicken was brown I added 1/2 a cup of chicken stock to deglaze the pot. When the yummy goodness had been removed from the bottom of the pot I added 3 1/2 more cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of water. I brought all of this to a boil and then reduced the heat to let it simmer for Broth.jpg30 minutes.

When it had simmered for the 30 minutes I added in 300 grams of mushrooms. You can use any mushrooms you like but I used a mix of button, oysters and enoki mushrooms in ours. I like to have variety and not just the one kind. I then let this simmer for about 5 minutes to cook the mushrooms. While these are cooking you may need to remove the chicken and break up any large pieces. I did this and then added it all back to the pot, bones included.

After the mushrooms had cooked a little I brought the soup back to a boil and added 1 large packet of egg noodles. These don’t take long to cook so I turned the heat off and stirred them through for a couple of minutes. The last thing to do was add a bunch of green onion, already chopped and mix it through the soup… Now it is ready to serve.

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We serve this with a stack of noodles on the bottom and then spoon the broth, mushrooms and chicken over the top. To add the required kick we like we actually add to each bowl of soup a spoonful of Chinese Chili & Garlic in Oil. J. probably adds 2 spoonfuls if not more… 1 is plenty for me. This just adds some spice but isn’t necessary at all. The soup by itself is full of flavor.

J ate two giant bowls of this last night, I ate two much smaller bowls. After the first spoonful I felt my craving disappear. It is such a simple soup but incredibly hearty and warms you right down to your toes! We have a giant pot of this sitting in our fridge for the rest of the week’s dinners… I am sure that by the time we get to the bottom of the pot not only will my worries have been chased away but any chance of either of us getting sick will be gone. Yay!

Shrimp in a bag.jpgI have finally recovered from our 4 day weekend in Las Vegas. The Vegas part was great, the road trip was a little bumpy and took some getting over. But I am back on board now and ready to share with you one of, if not our number 1, favorite place to eat in Las Vegas… Hot ‘N’ Juicy Crawfish.

If you are after the fancy, glitzy glamor of the strip this is not your place. If you don’t like getting messy when you eat this is certainly not your place. If you can’t handle ripping shrimp heads off and removing legs then this certainly isn’t the place for you … plastic sheets covering tables, food served in plastic bags, rolls of paper towels on the tables and compulsory bib wearing are what greet you when you venture into this off strip restaurant.

We headed there first thing Friday night after we had checked into our hotel. Unfortunately this weekend it wasn’t crawfish season so we decided not to go with those. We could have had theMussels in a bag.jpg frozen crawfish but we really like to stick with the season with them. Instead of crawfish we ordered 2 pounds of shrimp and 2 pounds of mussels. YUM!

One of the things I like about this place is that you order the seasoning for your bag of seafood and the spiciness. We were with some mates who can’t handle spice and they ordered the mild level of spice for the garlic butter seasoning on their shrimp but they still found that too spicy. So just as a warning if you can’t handle any spice stay away… of course we love it.

Our shrimp were seasoned with the Hot N Juicy Special seasoning. I find this is their spiciest and yummiest seasoning. It is hot, really hot but soooo good with a strong Cajun style flavor behind it. Ours were cooked so well and so delicious. Of course we asked for the extra spicy. When they came out in their big plastic bag, we opened it up and the smell is just overwhelming. J and I dived in and enjoyed every bite. Our faces, fingers, hands and parts of our arms were covered in the delicious sauce. You rip a head of, peel the legs and shell away before dipping the shrimp back in the bag for more sauce… this is the best way to eat these! Soooo good!

Cajun fries.jpgWe went a little different on the mussels because one of our mates wanted to try them. We got these prepared with the garlic butter seasoning and only medium spicy. Needless to say the medium was too hot for our friend but perfect for us! This 2 pound bag of mussels disappeared so incredibly quickly. They are so juicy and yummy… J and I both couldn’t stop until they were all gone! Dipping the shell into the sauce to get lots of it covering the mussel is just the perfect way to eat mussels!

I really should have taken a photo of the aftermath… messy paper towels, bibs, shells, shrimp heads all over the table… IT WAS FANTASTIC! We also ordered a side of their cajun fries, this was the first time we’d had these and they were really good. The spice they added on those was delicious, though too hot for our friends yet again!

If you are in Las Vegas, and can handle the spice… go here it is so amazingly good. Not to mention it is a fun experience. You get dirty, you eat great food and you venture away from the tourist craziness of the Las Vegas strip.

We are still getting over our Thanksgiving Day feast, so I am not ready to talk about what I cooked… I need my system to process it before I can even think about it again. I thought that I might share what I made J. and I for dinner Thanksgiving Eve instead.

Over the last couple of years we have started a tradition of having a seafood feast on Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving Eve to start our celebration early! This year we wanted to make Chilli Crab but unfortunately we couldn’t get any of the fresh crab we wanted. So I convinced J. that we should have chilli mussels instead. Only problem, I was going to be making this one up! We bought 2 1/4 pounds of cleaned mussels and headed home!

At home I set J. to work de-bearding the mussels while I prepared everything else. I finely minced 4 cloves garlic and 1 large shallot. I had 2 tablespoons of hot olive oil in a large pot heating and I added the shallot and garlic to the oil to sauté.

As these were softening I diced up 1 red jalapeno chilli and 2 thai chillies and then added these to the garlic and shallots. Lastly I finely chopped 1/2 a cup of parsley and added half to the pot. I let this cook for just a minute before I added the mussels. These of course had been beautifully de-bearded by J.

I mixed the mussels and the other ingredients so they were so evenly combined. Now it was time to add in all of the liquids. First I added 1 cup of white wine and let it deglaze the pot a little. Then I added 1 cup of chicken stock and mixed everything together again, being gentle so I didn’t crack the mussel shells. I let the liquid come up to a simmer and then covered everything to let the mussels steam.

It only took a couple of minutes for the mussels to open. Once they had I added 1/2 a cup of cream and the rest of the parsley. I gently mixed all of this together for another minute before serving it up in large bowls with some crusty bread on the side.

We sat to eat and it smelt fantastic. The combination of the tiniest bit of spice and the mussels was just perfect. J. was soooo happy with this. The broth was delicious and dipping the bread into it was perfect. I thought the mussels were cooked perfectly, still plump and juicy! The other good thing is that though we were both full at the end of dinner it wasn’t so heavy that we wouldn’t be full Thanksgiving Day.

I love to experiment and a lot of the time they don’t turn out the way I had imagined but this time around they were better than I could have hoped for!!!