Happy belated Valentine’s Day! Predictably enough, I saved this week’s French Fridays with Dorie selection, Mussels and Chorizo, to celebrate the
manufactured holiday and a successful presentation at the office. Other than the tedious process of sorting, rinsing, and debearding five pounds of mussels, this was an easy, tasty meal. We love our bivalves with pork and tomato during this time of the year!
We took our overflowing bowl of mussels, parked it in a table in front of the couch, and sat side by side. Loaf of bread – check. Remaining bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – check.
“This is Dorie’s recipe, right?”
“Did you change anything?”
“These are awesome”
And they were. Despite my fears, the mussels were wonderfully tender. I could barely fit all five pounds, plus the other ingredients, on the five-quart Dutch oven and was paranoid about overcooking them. The flavors were amazing – sweet, salty, smoky. Eating mostly with your hands within inches of your partner is pretty sexy too.
Because we were obviously not going to eat five pounds of mussels by ourselves, the next day we had the mussels and chorizo with pasta.
I was especially worried about overcooking the mussels while reheating the pasta, so I strained all of the sauce and set the vegetables, mussels and chorizo aside and reheated the liquid by itself. I also added about half a cup of heavy cream. The sauce didn’t thicken as much as I would have liked, but it was still very tasty. While the pasta boiled, I stirred back all the solids into the sauce until they were warmed through. To punch up the recipe’s Spanish flair, I shredded some Manchego on top. Delicioso!
Both incarnations of the recipe are keepers. I can’t wait to make the mussels next time we have friends or family over!
Marie-Hélene’s Apple Cake
One down, twenty-three to go! After weeks of admiring the recently posted versions of this recipe, and inspired by my FFwD anniversary challenge to catch up, I finally baked Marie-Hélene’s Apple Cake. Since I didn’t break a sweat reheating the mussels and chorizo with pasta, and the cake recipe did not involve any major cleanup, I just went for it. It is no wonder Mme. Brunet-Lhoste can make this beauty without a recipe.
The comments on Epicurious – where the recipe is conveniently posted – were spot on. The texture was more reminiscent of a bread pudding, it was extremely simple to make, and well deserving of the four fork ratings. As suggested, I used four different kinds of apple: a Red Delicious, a Gala, a Golden Delicious, and a Granny Smith. Dorie was right about the cake being better the next day. The cake’s taste was the biggest surprise: I did not expect was the spiciness of the rum to complement the apples so well. The rum flavor is very prominent.
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking club where on a weekly basis, home cooks all over the world post their interpretations of a selected recipe from Around My French Table – Dorie Greenspan’s award winning cookbook.