Friday, October 14, 2005

So I finally got some time to cook today...

Well, more to the point, I actually had time to shop today. For the past couple of weeks, things have been so hectic that I haven't really had time to shop for food. I've just been sending my parents out on food-finding missions for me whilst I run off to work or hibernate in front of the computer doing assignments. And I've been trying to make more storecupboard recipes, but the storecupboard is getting dangerously low. Yes, I discovered last week, to my shame, that we had no tinned tomatoes. What kind of lame-excuse-for-a-wannabe-domestic-goddess runs out of tinned tomatoes?!

But this morning, I was free, so my mum and I went to Box Hill and got the ingredients for lunch.

147. Moules Marinière (One & Two)
148. Exceptional Salmon (One & Two)

I was initially planning on just making the mussels for lunch for my mother and myself today, and the salmon for lunch tomorrow. However, at the last minute my father and brother called and told me they would be home for lunch, so I did the salmon today as well.

I don't really love mussels in general, with one notable exception - moules marinière. I love them done in the Belgian style - that is, lots of white wine, garlic, onion and herbs. At least, I'm pretty sure that it's the Belgian style. I distinctly remember eating this dish last year in Brugge, in an incredibly touristy restaurant right on the town square, with the mussels in a ginormous pot, with a huge bowl of frites and an industrial-sized Hoegarden beer. It was fabulous.

And after having made Nigella's version, I've found it's not too difficult. It's basically a case of chucking everything except the mussels in a pot, letting them get nice and hot, and then chucking the mussels in and steaming them until cooked. Whilst they were steaming, I fried up the bacon for the exceptional salmon, and left it aside as we ate the mussels.

Moules Marinière

Moules and bread - Baker's Delight's Pane di Casa (with extra parsley for my mother).

I absolutely love the aroma of this dish, and I think crusty bread is a wonderful accompaniment. It's so lovely and delicious that I could easily make it again and again. And there was a lot of wonderful winey, briney liquid in which to dip the bread.

Nigella says to use 2 kilos of mussels for 2 people as a main meal, so I thought that the 1.7 kilos I bought would be fine for a starter for 4 of us - WRONG! It would have been enough for a light lunch in its entirety. But seeing as the bacon had already been fried, there was no looking back. After eating the mussels, I got up and fried the salmon in the bacon fat, dressed some salad in the pan juices with some lemon, and served them up. (I doubled this recipe for 4 of us).

Exceptional Salmon

This was lovely! The bacon compliments the salmon so well, and the lemon juice in the dressing stops the whole dish from being too greasy and heavy. Again, this would have been fine as lunch in itself... but I guess I've got to get as many recipes under my belt while I have free time!

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