Friday, September 24, 2010

Mussels, two ways.

Last week, I bought some mussels. I don't usually make a lot of seafood at home; while I adore shellfish, I've never been a huge lover of the finned variety. And while I've been known to make shrimp scampi on occasion, mussels and clams are a rarity chez Queenie.

But last week, things were different. I'd run across Melissa Clark's recipe for mussels with corn and sherry on Serious Eats, and I knew that it had a fast-approaching expiration date. Corn is going downhill fast here in the New York area; if I wanted to experience this dish at the height of its sweet, er, corniness, I'd have to act now.

And in doing so, I realize something: I should make mussels all the freaking time. Unlike most seafood, they arrive alive, and can be kept as such in your fridge for a couple of days. (All you need to do is make sure they're in a bag that won't leak, soak a tea towel in cold water, stick it in the bag with them, and nestle them on the bottom shelf of your fridge.) So even if you buy, say, two pounds (enough for two servings or so), you don't have to eat them all at once.

I also realized that Melissa's recipe (which you can find over here) is insanely easy and delicious, and is a great way to help use up the dry sherry you bought in December for your holiday trifle recipe. (Not that I speak from experience or anything.)

On day two, I decided to skew Italian. I used Mario Batali's recipe for mussels with garlic and spaghetti, and man was it good. And pretty much just as easy as the mussels with corn - a little saute, a little steam, and boom! Mussels, cooked to perfection.

The lesson? Never restrict yourself to boring, leftover-friendly dishes just because you live alone. Also, always have sherry on hand. For cooking, or for other emergencies...

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