Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Mussels

Mussels are one of my favorite appetizers or meals. Whenever Aaron and I go out and see mussels on a menu, we are happy. There is a wide variety, and the best we have had so far are blue shell mussels in a garlic broth from the Blue Cow Cafe in Big Rapids, MI. The Belgian style mussels at The Hopleaf in Chicago are a close second.

However nice it is to order mussels at a restaurant, they sometimes don't give you enough bread to soak up the broth or enough broth to even enjoy. Mussels are pretty cheap to buy in the store and really easy to make, so last night we had mussels in a tomato-wine broth for dinner. This is one of the better recipes we have made, especially because the tomato broth is pretty unique.

If you like mussels, click on the link at the bottom of the post and make these! (Umm we don't have a ton of money so we left out the saffron and used water instead of seafood stock.)

To go with the mussels, we made whole wheat baguettes for the first time. This is all a part of my resolution to get over a fear of baking with yeast.

After all, look how pretty the yeast can be.

There is quite a lot of kneading involved in this recipe, so Aaron got an arm workout (18 minutes total).

Here's the dough hanging out by the radiator in the kitchen. Luckily our apartment is super warm, so we only need the shortest time possible for dough to rise.

Finished product. Hopefully next time the crust will get browner, but this is what happens when you accidently set the oven for 50 degrees cooler than it should be and realize halfway through baking. Despite the looks, the bread was delicious and perfect for soaking up the tomato broth. Definitely will be made again!

Now I have a 2.5 mile walk ahead of me because Aaron forgot his lunch. Luckily its 40 degrees out. I would drive, but when Aaron called me to ask if I could bring him his lunch, he woke me up in the middle of a horrible dream where I was driving in a huge snow storm... good timing.

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