Tag Archives: Ina Garten

Cooking Food

Mussels in White Wine

Happy New Year, friends! I’m a little sad to say goodbye to 2012, but nothing that a little (or a lot) of seafood can’t fix. It’s been a tradition in our house to have a seafood feast at New Year’s, and we’ve even been known to eat so much that we can barely breathe (resolution that year: reduce gluttony).

Some of my favorite meals are the ones that I don’t have to cook myself, and my husband did most of the cooking for our New Year’s Eve dinner. About 25 years ago I went to France with my family, and we had these mussels at a restaurant. For the next 25 years my parents talked about it. My husband grew up in France, so between all of us there is a significant Moules marinieres fan base in the family. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law kindly gifted me Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris which has a delicious version of this recipe.

Start by soaking the live mussels in water and flour for 30 minutes, which gets them to expel sand (mmm, nothing more appetizing than “expel” in a recipe).

Then, de-beard the mussels. Let them reveal their true identities.

My husband is wearing gloves because he sliced off part of his fingernail and finger using an ultra-sharp mandoline that I got from Sandra for Christmas. We love the mandoline but the lesson here is that when you use instruments made from a country with a sword heritage. you should be careful.

Sautee the shallots and add garlic.

Then add tomatoes, saffron, parsley, thyme, wine, salt, and pepper.

Add the mussels and stir.

Cook til the mussels open.

And then try not to eat too much.

Wishing you a savory 2013!

MUSSELS IN WINE SAUCE (Ina Garten, Barefoot in Paris)

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds cultivated mussels
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (5 to 7 shallots)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes, drained (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon good saffron threads
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup good white wine
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

To clean the mussels, put them in a large bowl with 2 quarts of water and the flour and soak for 30 minutes, or until the mussels disgorge any sand. Drain the mussels, then remove the “beard” from each with your fingers. If they’re dirty, scrub the mussels with a brush under running water. Discard any mussels whose shells aren’t tightly shut.

In a large non-aluminum stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. Add the tomatoes, saffron, parsley, thyme, wine, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Add the mussels, stir well, then cover the pot, and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the mussels are opened (discard any that do not open). With the lid on, shake the pot once or twice to be sure the mussels don’t burn on the bottom. Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large bowl and serve hot.

Serves 2; can be easily doubled.

Baking Cooking Food

Homemade Granola

Happy Valentine’s Day!  To celebrate, I’ll share a picture of the one decent Valentine’s Day cookie that I did with royal icing. Will post about that another time, after I’ve recovered from the royal icing initiation.  I’ll just have to eat the rest of the evidence.

Valentine's Day cookie

The only cookie I'm willing to share publicly. Stamped the paper plate with non-toxic metallic ink.

Today one of my girls was home sick, so we spent a lazy day completely indoors and mostly in the kitchen. Which means we had plenty of time to make stuff. So I decided to try out Ina Garten’s Homemade Granola recipe that my friend Heidi shared with me. She said that it was delicious, and I proved it by having three bowls of it after I made it.   Here’s a closeup so you can get a sense of its sweet and nutty delectableness (look it up! It’s actually a word):

Homemade granola closeup

And it’s so easy to make that even I, who did this last time I tried to make something with rolled oats, was able to make it:

Burnt oats

This happened the last time I roasted oats. I followed the instructions and put them into the oven, took a shower, and came out with the whole house smelling burnt. Please do not shower when you are roasting oats.

Basically, all you do is coat oats, coconut and almonds in an oil-and-honey mixture, roast (you’ll want to turn them every 8-10 minutes to ensure even browning and to prevent the above from happening), and take them out when they’re a nice caramel brown all over.  Let it cool, and add in the dried fruit and cashews.  I bought some particularly plump dried cranberries and they made the cran-bites especially tasty.

Cooled granola with dried fruit and nuts

I used a rimmed baking tray for this and mixed the dried fruit in while the granola was on the tray for even distribution.

This was the first time I’ve made granola so I didn’t really mess with the recipe, but I’m seeing a lot of room for experimentation here (Raisins? Sunflower seeds? Tiny doll accessories embedded in my carpet?). After it all cooled (ok, and after I ate about a quarter of it) I put it into an airtight container, and am storing it next to my other cereals.  It’s the prettiest of the bunch!

Finished granola

Portrait of granola.

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Ina Garten via my friend Heidi:

HOMEMADE GRANOLA

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup good honey
  • 1 1/2 cups small diced dried apricots
  • 1 cup small diced dried figs
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss the oats, coconut, and almonds together in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil and honey in a small bowl. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. Pour onto a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Add the apricots, figs, cherries, cranberries, and cashews. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.