In weekly installments, otherwise known as TwoFaced Tuesday, Melissa, blogger at CupcakesOMG, and I will choose a shared ingredient. Then, using our own culinary talents, we’ll make whatever delicious paleo dish we can think of. TwoFaced will be a dual blogging adventure. If you start here, you will finish there and vice versa.
I don’t know what it is about posing a “guess what” question and no one answering correctly that gets me so excited. It could be the 4-year-old in me, or the 90-year-old in me, whichever, I sort of feel like I won some sort of contest in my head.
Oh, does it Joe?
Just kidding. Maple syrup is a FANTASTIC idea.
But not today, Joe. Not today.
Today, Melissa and I bring you not one, but TWO recipes for mussels at home. I think I’m especially excited because mussels are my favorite appetizer, they’re easily found on most menus, they’re grain and dairy free, and they’re affordable. But why be limited to dining out? Well, if you’re like me, you might think mussels are a pain in the ass to cook. But you’re wrong. So. wrong.
We were surprised when they were done in about 15 minutes, not including the hour your mussels will sit in a bowl of water.
Which, by the way, is literally zero work for you. They just sit. In a bowl of water.
I found these local mussels at Whole Foods. I’ve never bought mussels before, it caused a bit of anxiety. They were sitting on ice in the cooler, as seen here:
When I got them home, I put them in the freezer. I don’t know. I mean, they were on ice. Ice is frozen. It made sense.
But that’s wrong. Don’t do that. Ever.
Because then, James will have to buy you new mussels.
Which defeats the purpose of cooking an affordable recipe.
I went for a more traditional take, inspired by two of my favorite restaurants. At Red Stripe, we get the “Red Stripe Mussels” every single time. They have little grape tomatoes and onions in the broth. I love that. The combination of eating a mussel with a warm tomato and onion, is absurdly delicious. At Fat Cat, we get the Spicy Mussels and the tomato-based broth has a bit of a kick, leaving your mouth happily on fire.
I obviously don’t know the entire list of ingredients to these two favorites so I took a little advice from James’ Italian great-aunt, and then got inspired by my mussel muses.
Honestly, these were the MOST delicious things I have ever made with my own two hands. I’ve never written so passionately about a recipe. I think I ate 3 bowls of mussels and then got a giant soup spoon and ate the broth. Then I did that thing where you pick up the bowl and tilt it back and slurp obnoxiously. It was awesome.
Spicy Tomato Mussels
2 lbs of fresh mussels
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1 medium white onion, sliced
8 cloves of garlic
1 cup of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3 tbs olive oil
pepper, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder
bowl of ice water, salted
Place mussels in bowl of salted ice water for an hour before you begin. Remove “beards” from mussels. Strain and set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat: saute olive oil, onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes, wine*, and mussels. Stir to combine.
Add in the grape tomatoes and spices, turn heat to medium-high, place cover on pot and bring to a boil.
For the next 6 minutes, remove lid, stir, replace lid, and repeat until all the mussels have opened.
Serve hot with plenty of broth. Slurp bowls of broth obnoxiously. Repeat.
*You can omit the wine, since technically alcohol isn’t Paleo. Then again, I had like 5 vodka sodas this weekend, so at this point wine sounds like a vegetable. If you do leave it out, substitute a 1/2 cup of vegetable or chicken broth. Or vodka.
If I know CupcakesOMG, and I think I do… she probably made something a little less traditional, yet equally slurp-worthy.
For the rest of our TwoFaced recipes, visit here.