There is one dish I make about once a year. Every time I make it I am amazed by how easy it is. And every time I remind myself that I have to make this more often.
Well, the same thing happened a few weeks ago. The food item in question is mussels. It honestly couldn't be easier to cook. It's really fool-proof and turns out deliciously every time. It also takes no time at all to make. Probably 20 minutes from start to table, and that's if you're a slow chopper, tops. Best of all? It seems really classy and sophisticated. It would be the perfect solution for a week-night dinner party.
So this time, when I was trying to think of what I could make that would be healthy, yet tasty, mussels came to mind. Now the catch here is the broth the mussels are cooked in. Tomato based sauces are fine, but cream based sauces are a killer. Unfortunately, I prefer my mussels in a white sauce. My mission was to scour the internet to come up with a diet friendly sauce that would remind me of the taste of a garlicky cream based sauces that I love.
I have to say I think it was mission accomplished. This simple broth composed mainly of white wine and garlic was perfect. So tasty and fragrant, I didn't miss the cream at all! That way you don't feel guilty about mopping up the remainders with a piece of crusty bread, because it's guaranteed that you will! This should be a welcomed change for the New Year's resolutioners reading this who have been living off carrot sticks and celery for about 20 days now - enjoy!
The added bonus here is that mussels are actually quite a nutritional powerhouse. Did you know they had more iron, per 75 g, than beef? So this is a great way for dieters to get that heme iron punch without the calories or saturated fat of red meat. Now all I have to do is remember to eat them more often. Although with this amazing new recipe, it really shouldn't be too difficult.
Recipe - Mussels in white wine sauce
Serves 2 as a main (1lb/person), 4 as an appetizer (0.5 lb/person)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp butter
A handful chopped fresh parsley
Pick over the mussels and throw away any that are already open. Scrub the rest of the mussels and remove any beards. Pour the wine into a large pot. Add the bay leaf, shallots, garlic, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Add the mussels, cover and let steam until they're open (around 5 minutes).
Move the mussels to a large serving dish with a slotted spoon. Throw out any that haven't opened. Whisk the butter into the rest of the cooking liquid, as well as the parsley. Pour the liquid over the mussels.
Serve with a nice piece of crusty bread.