Saturday, March 21, 2009

Costco and mussels

I have to admit, I really love Costco. It's really amazing for more expensive food items that I could never afford on a student's budget at the supermarket (and if I could I'd spend the money on shoes or something). The quality/selection of Costco meat, chicken, and fish is really amazing and a great bargain for what you get. For example, last night the bf and I were able to get 4 huge steaks (based on the thickness they will probably make 8 steaks) for $25. We were also able to get about 5 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $19 (next time you are at the supermarket see how much 5lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast would cost you).

This brings me to the best part of this post. We were able to get 3 or 4 lbs of mussels for $12. I was super excited/kind of nervous because I knew the bf wanted to get time/cook them. I always get nervous when making seafood, especially shellfish which I find especially intimidating. I was also very intimidated because I had never made mussels before but decided that it was too good of a deal to pass up so we got them despite my reservations.

I'm glad we did because dinner turned out great and its a great example of why you shouldn't feel too intimidated to try a new dish, odds are its going to turn out great! So next time you need to cook an impressive dinner try my recipe for mussels frites!

Steamed Mussels:
2-4 lbs fresh mussels cleaned and debearded kept on ice in the fridge
3/4 bottle dry white wine
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 stick of butter
1 onion minced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 stalk celery minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon mustard (yellow or Dijon)
1 handful fresh parsley finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Make sure to clean and debeard the mussels before you start cooking. Discard any mussels that have already opened or the shell is damaged. Place in a colander over a bowl filled with ice and return to fridge. In the largest pot you own (like a dutch oven -- see its a good investment) melt the butter (with a little bit of olive oil if you wish) over med. high heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until soft and add the mustard. Stir well. Remove the mussels from the fridge and add to the pot again discarding any mussels that may have opened after cleaning. Raise the heat to high. Stir well so that the mussels are covered with the vegetable mixture. Add the wine, lemon juice/zest and the salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add half of the parsley and stir again. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Add the remaining parsley and some pepper. Serve with crusty bread and potatoes (recipe below)

Baked potato chips:
2-3 large potatoes cleaned and sliced thin (make them look like potato chips)
1 teaspoon steak seasoning
1 tablespoon Emeril's essence
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil.

Preheat oven to 450. Place the sliced potatoes in a bowl and add the seasonings and olive oil. Stir with your hands to coat well. Place on a cookie sheet in one layer if possible (you may need a second cookie sheet). Bake until the chips look golden brown and crispy (about 30 min)


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