Peanut Butter and Purple Onions

Sounds crazy until you try it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Musselbound that I've typed it, I don't think that title really makes sense, but -- why not.

So I've realized that I really, really need to dig up the directions for my digital camera and acquire some skills. I have no illusions that my petite Canon is the ultimate in shutterbug circles, but it is surely capable of better work than this:

This picture doesn't begin to do justice to the glory of these black beauties -- the briny sweetness, the garlicky buttery broth spiked with parsley sparkles. And if you can believe it, this picture was the best of the lot! And what a shame, because I want you to try these. Not only are they incredibly delicious, they are possibly the easiest seafood dish I've ever made. I do not kid.

According to the Weight Watchers website, a serving of these is 5 points. I will note for the record, though, that you really ought to have slices of grilled or toasted bread on hand for soaking up the juices.

Moules Mariniere
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat

4 lb mussels, scrubbed and debearded
4 T. unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
4 T. chopped Italian parsley
1 1/4 c. dry white wine

Double check your mussels and chuck those with cracked shells or that gape unbecomingly.

On medium heat, in a big ol' pot with a lid, melt the butter. Add the shallots and garlic and 1 T. parsley, and stir it around into the butter for a minute or so. Add the wine and cook another minute. Add the mussels, turn the heat to high, and cover the pot. Check in three minutes and remove all the open mussels (I like to use tongs) to your bowls. Put the lid back on and give them another two minutes or so. Turn off the heat. Take out the rest of the open mussels for your bowls, and discard any that failed to open.

Let the broth settle, then pour it carefully over the bowls. The goal here is to leave any sediment in the pot. Sprinkle over the remaining parsley, take your bowls to a cat-safe area, and scarf them down. Serves two.

* Next time I would slice the garlic thinly, rather than mince it. Some of the shells practically filled up with bits of minced garlic.


  • At 8:50 PM, Anonymous terrilynn said…

    oh, yum. That's one of my very favorite dishes. But no matter how fancy your camera, until my computer has Smell-o-Vision capability, the picture will never do it justice!

  • At 9:46 PM, Blogger mzn said…

    Your picture looks good. I love mussels.

    I'm a total amateur with a camera but I would try turning on your macro setting and getting closer to the food, like right on top of it. Happy shooting!

  • At 10:59 PM, Blogger PatL said…

    The picture looks pretty good full-sized. I think it's blogger's reducing algorithm that's messing you up. Maybe if you reduced it yourself on your PC?

    I'm definitely no expert, though ... the pics on my blog look no better! :o)

  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger BNA said…

    Hi Terrilyn -- you're right, of course...we need the electronic equivalent of scratch-n-sniff stickers! Wow, do they even still make those things?

    Thanks for the tip, MZN -- embarrassingly, I haven't the slightest idea how to find the camera's macro setting, but I will investigate.

    Hi Pat -- another excellent suggestion. And don't be so modest...your pictures look great!

  • At 11:28 PM, Blogger mzn said…

    The macro setting is almost always a picture of a flower (because it's good for taking pics of flowers, duh). Press the flower, see the flower icon on your screen, get close to the subject, click. If your camera has no flower I don't know what to tell you.

  • At 6:40 PM, Blogger Laurie said…

    I have been terribly afraid of cooking mussels in the past, but I believe that you have finally convinced me to try these at home!

  • At 9:06 AM, Blogger BNA said…

    Let me know how it goes, Laurie!


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