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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Mussels With Basil-Garlic Breadcrumbs

 

2016-03-25 16.52.59

This style of mussels is so delicious. Most importantly, the broth that rests in the bottom of the bowl is heavenly. This is my recipe for Mussels With BasilGarlic Breadcrumbs.

Having the toasted flavored bread crumbs nestled inside the shells gives great texture to the mussels. The fresh herbs and garlic add extra flavor. It’s so simple to make. Let me show you.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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fresh basil

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Prep Time for Mussels: 30 to 40 minutes (includes filtering the sand out in the sink)
Prep Time For Bread Crumbs: 10 minutes
Cook Time For Bread Crumbs: 5 to 7 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Yields: 2 servings (1 1/2 pounds per person)
Equipment: large stockpot, spider, mini food processor, large mixing bowl, Microplane

Ingredients:
3 pounds of mussels
1 bottle of Chardonnay
1 tablespoon of Pernod
1 stick of melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon zest
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

Directions For Prepping Mussels:
I bought 3 pounds of PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels at my local seafood store. After going through all of them, you may find ones that are open or cracked. This means they are no longer alive and are no good.

If you come across those that may be slightly open, you can do a quick test by giving them a good thump with your fingers, if they don’t close, get rid of them. They’re dead and no good. Then you may find some with a chipped shell from the shipping process. Get rid of them.

Next, when you’re scrubbing the outside shells, removing debris and whatnot, you want to remove the *beard from each mussel. Look, everything that’s worthwhile means doing the work. Great seafood recipes are no different.

Note: During the cleaning of the mussels, they must remain as cold as possible. Once they’ve been cleaned, immediately return them to an ice-filled container.

Next, I fill up my sink with water adding in a couple of tablespoons of flour. Using my hands, I swish the flour around until the water becomes cloudy. I add all the cleaned mussels into the water-filled sink. Mussels act like a filter and will drink the flour/water mixture and spit the water back out, along with any sand they may have inside their shells. This process only takes a couple of minutes. Then, I drain the water from the sink and spray the mussels down with clean water. I divide the mussels into three large Tupperware containers. Top each container with ice then transfer the containers to the refrigerator. It’s time to start on my broth for the mussels.

In a large preheated stockpot over medium-high heat add the cleaned mussels. Pour in a whole bottle of white wine. Place the lid on and let the mussels steam. Once all the mussels have opened, they’re done. If you see any that has not opened discard them. I like to stir the mussels once through the steaming process so they can all drink up some of the wine. This whole process happens really quickly.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat add unsalted butter. Allow the butter to melt then add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and Pernod. To the melted butter add Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Using a spatula, toss to coat. Folding the bread crumbs continuously, until the bread crumbs have absorbed the flavored butter and have toasted up nicely 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

In a food processor, add the garlic cloves, pulse until minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the pine nuts, lemon zest, and toasted breadcrumbs, mix to combine.

Next, to the food processor add the Italian flat-leaf parsley and fresh basil leaves. Pulse them a few times just until finely chopped but not minced. Transfer to the bowl containing the toasted breadcrumb mixture, stir to combine.

To serve, ladle the mussels into a serving bowl. Finish by generously sprinkling the toasted basil-garlic breadcrumbs over the top. These are my Mussels With Basil-Garlic Breadcrumbs.

*Beard: The beard also known as byssus threads. They’re filaments that the mussel uses to secure itself to hard surfaces. they’re usually brownish and may appear somewhat like seaweed.

Mussels Three Ways

Mussels In A Tomato-Basil White Wine

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Cabbage Soup

2016-01-07 16.51.02

Cabbage Soup has to be one of my very favorites when it comes to food for the soul. I believe, if you’re a fan of stuffed cabbage, you’ll love this soup.

I’m using Savoy cabbage (green cabbage is fine as well) and a 90% lean ground sirloin which makes for a healthier and better-tasting soup.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart stockpot, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 1/2 pounds of lean ground sirloin
5 cups of Savoy cabbage, core removed and chopped (substitute green cabbage)
1 cup of onions, diced
1 cup of carrots, diced
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup of white rice, (Sucess rice Boil-in-a-Bag), remove from the bag
2 quarts of chicken stock, unsalted
2 cups of good tomato juice
Homemade Ciabatta Croutons for garnish
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated for garnish

Directions:
Start by prepping all the vegetables going into the soup. This includes cabbage, carrots, garlic, and onions.

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat add olive and the ground sirloin. Using a wooden spoon begin breaking up the meat. Add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for 7 to 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

Next, add the diced onions and minced garlic. Continue cooking, add the diced carrots, cook together for another 5 minutes. Throw in 2 bay leaves stir to combine.

Add the chicken stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pot. Lower the heat to medium, slowly add the chopped Savoy cabbage. Using the wooden spoon to push the cabbage down into the liquid.

As the Savoy cabbage softens and wilts into the chicken stock, add the rice. Simmer (adjust the heat, to medium-low if needed, to a slow simmer) for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Finally, add the tomato juice, stir to combine. Turn the heat off, remove the bay leaves, and cover. Wait 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with Homemade Ciabatta Croutons and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

 

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast On Toasted Ciabatta Bread

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It may have been a deal-breaker when I learned that Steve didn’t care for pot roast. He just doesn’t care for those stewed vegetables like the potatoes, carrots and such. Growing up north, both here and in England, we ate all kinds of stewed meats. As far as vegetables go, I love them any way they’re prepared.

I really had to figure out a way to make this traditional dish in a way that Steve would love it as much as I do. I believe I have the answer. The first order of business is to break out my Crockpot. This is my Slow Cooker Pot Roast On Toasted Ciabatta Bread.

I’m serving this with a side of my Sautéed Spinach With Garlic. This recipe’s available by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 10 minutes (while the meat is searing, prep your veggies)
Cook Time: 8 hours 15 minutes (8 hours on high) (add an additional 15 minutes for making the gravy while toasting the ciabatta)
Total Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 7-quart Crockpot, 10-cup food processor, 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 6-quart saucepot, 2 rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
3-pound brisket roast
2 tablespoons of Canola oil
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper

2 chopped large onions
4 ribs chopped celery with their leaves
1 pound of chopped organic  multi-colored carrots (7 small carrots)
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of  freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 cup of beef stock, unsalted
2 10.5-ounce cans of beef consommé
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of water
1/4 cup of Kitchen bouquet seasoning
1 heaping tablespoon corn starch
4 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half and toasted
Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:
First, add 2 tablespoons of Canola oil to 1 sheet of paper towel.  Using the oil-dampened paper towel, wipe down the bottom and sides of the cast-iron skillet. Preheat the oven over medium-high heat until the skillet is smoking hot. Carefully lay the roast into the pan. Sear the first side for 3 to 5 minutes. Once the meat releases, from the pan, without giving you any resistance flip and sear the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Set aside. While the pan is still over medium-high heat add 1/2 cup of beef stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bits off the bottom of the skillet. Transfer that flavorful liquid to a small bowl. Set aside.

In the meantime, prep the carrots, celery, garlic, and onions. Transfer to the Crockpot. Add tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Place the seared brisket on top. Pour in the beef consommé, 1/2 cup of water, and the reserved beef juices from the pan.

Place the lid on the Crockpot and set to cook for 8 hours on high.

After 8 hours turn the Crockpot off and carefully remove the brisket. Remove and discard the sprigs of rosemary. Break up the roast into large pieces, transfer to a plate. Set aside.

Transfer the vegetables into a food processor. Pour the remaining liquid from the Crockpot into a large saucepot. Purée all the vegetables then add them into the pot. Over medium heat allow the sauce to come up to a bubble then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the browning seasoning (Kitchen bouquet) and simmer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
To thicken this sauce, just a little more, in a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water (this is what’s known as a slurry) until the mixture is paste-like and smooth. Once more, turn the heat back up to medium, stirring occasionally bringing the sauce up to a boil.  Once the sauce thickens, reduce the heat to (lowest setting) warm. Carefully add the pot roast back in, place the lid on.

For the Ciabatta rolls, slice each one in half. Place 4 halves onto each rimmed baking sheet pan. Drizzled a little olive oil of each one, sprinkle with  Kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste. Transfer to the oven, bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

All I do to serve this dish is to lay the toasted Ciabatta bread cut side up on a plate and ladle some of the gravy over my delicious Slow Cooker Pot Roast On Toasted Ciabatta Bread. Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. Served with a side of Sautéed Spinach With Garlic.

Sautéed Spinach With Garlic

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