Friday, February 17, 2012

FFWD Mussels and Chorizo with or without Pasta

Mussels and Chorizo
A rainy day in Florida is so much better than a snowy, cold day in NJ. This week I'm spending French Friday here in the pan handle of Florida. We arrived here Monday night. Tuesday it was raining, so it was the perfect time to get my food shopping done. I decided, since fresh seafood is readily available in this area and since my husband loves mussels, I would treat him to this dish for Valentine's Day! It was definitely a treat!
I have always had an aversion to cooking shell fish. Actually, I don't like cooking shell fish or lobster or anything that starts out alive! I thought of skipping this week, but I thought this was a perfect time to overcome my fear. Mussels are a favorite of my husbands, he usually orders them when we go out.  A few years ago, when we were in Holland, he ordered a huge bucket of mussels, and had no problem finishing them by himself!
My aunt is partly responsible for my phobia. She once told me a story of her first time cooking a lobster. It was not pretty! It had something to do with the live lobster being put into cold water and being brought to a boil! See what I mean....not pretty!
It was time to overcome my fear of shell fish so, while I was shopping, I picked up the mussels and all the other ingredients for the Mussels and Chorizo. I had my husband wash and clean the mussels as I chopped all the veggies. This dish went together so easily! First heating the oil in a large Dutch oven, then adding the bell pepper, onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook this for about 5 minutes then add the tomatoes and Chorizo. I used a spiced smoked sausage because I couldn't find Chorizo. Cook for a few more minutes and add the mussels and white wine. Cover and cook for a few more minutes, till the mussels open. Once they open, serve immediately!  I decided to serve this with some crusty bread.  This turned out to be a perfect Valentine's Day meal! We both enjoyed it and I overcame my fear of cooking shell fish.
This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspans cookbook "Around My French Table". The recipe can also be found here.  To see what other French Friday bloggers are doing check it out here.


Washed mussels
Everything chopped and ready to go
Absolutely delicious!
Such a lovely Valentine's Day dinner
We really enjoyed this dish...it will be making many more appearances on our table

31 comments:

  1. Sounds like you will be having an amazing time in Florida. That reminds me of the little road trips we would make to Pensacola and Destin from New Orleans back when I was in college. Crazy Puerto Rican students longing for the beach.

    Your mussels look wonderful, but I am especially jealous of your sous chef. I had to rinse and inspect five pounds of those little guys!

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  2. Sounds like a delicious valentine's day dinner. I used to be a little squeamish with mussels too, but over time I've gotten used to cooking them and now we make them a few times per year.

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  3. I'm glad you overcame your fear! Your dish turned out fantastic.

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  4. I am glad that you are enjoying your visit and it is good to hear that Florida is getting some rain. We sure do need more here. Your photos are great! I also was a little squeamish fixing the mussels, but I won't hesitate the next time. This one will also be a regular on our meal rotation as well.

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  5. Yeah, I can imagine that a rainy day in Florida is a bit easier to bear than a cold day in February in the NE... Or cold and windy like it is today.
    FFwD has definitely been good for taking me out of my comfort zone. Judging by that last picture, it looks like you did pretty well going outside of yours :-)

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  6. Lucky you in Florida! I love chorizo and mussels together. Funny - I have no problems with the mussels - but cannot do the lobster. Don't know why. The photos are luscious - could have this for breakfast. Hope the Florida sunshine comes out for you.

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  7. It looks like you and I both overcame our fears this week and decided it was well worth it! I'll be making these every month that has an R in it from now on. Yum!

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  8. What a perfect Valentine's Dinner! It looks delicious:) Have a great time in Florida:)

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  9. Looks wonderful! Kudos for conquering your aversion to cooking mussels.

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  10. Wow...these look wonderful, we are big mussel fans here...I would love to eat those...and the photos are fabulous.

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  11. WOW! Beautifully done. I also have a hard time cooking anything that is alive. Frozen lobster tails are great, but those whole live ones...well, I just can't do it. If I did, I'd never eat it. Just one of my mental illnesses, I suppose. But living in the desert where we have lots of beach but no ocean contributes to how I am...there is nothing here like FRESH seafood. Everything is shipped in and they do better at shipping, but......it is not really super fresh. Your mussels do look really great. I'll catch up on this one when I can get a friend or Hubby to help me...but I'm guessing on this recipe Hubby won't be much help either. I might try this one with shrimp. We are good at shrimp.

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  12. I love that your hubby cleaned the mussels and chopped your veggies. You guys make a great team. Plus it's such a beautiful post!

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  13. How fun to do this on vacation! What a perfect way to explore some of the seafood in Florida. They look beautiful! I still don't like cooking live lobsters and have to ask the fish monger to do that deed for me, last time I tried, the lobster moved, I screamed and dropped him on the floor in front of a cooking class I was taking - scarred me for life. Hope you enjoy your time in Florida!

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  14. I so agree about the Florida thing - warm and cosy is my idea of nice. This dish of mussels looks superb - beuatifuly presented.

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  15. Dear Kathy, This just looks so good!! I know I would love it, with a nice loaf of bread! Blessings, Catherine xo

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  16. I'm so excited for you that your conquered your fear of cooking shellfish and enjoyed the end result. I agree this was perfect for Valentine's Day. Enjoy Florida! Hope it's sunny and warm.

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  17. I'm such a fan of mussels. I order them all the time when I go out too, but I've never attempted them at home. Thanks for making the process seem a little easier!

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  18. Kathy-you and Lizzy are seriously making me drool over this fabulous dish. I am seriously wanting to make it, and just have it with a nice crusty bread...just as you are serving it with. No need for pasta for this yumminess. Love the mussel, and I see you made it with kielbasa, which also works well!
    Have a wonderful weekend:DDD

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  19. Congratulations on overcoming your fear ... I assume you'll be making lobster next!! It looks like it was a perfect Valentine's day meal.

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  20. What a delightful way to spend V-day. Mussels in Florida! Hope the weather turned out better later in the week for you!

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  21. I felt the exact same way about shellfish! Shrimp is the only one that I felt comfortable with. Now I feel comfortable with mussels! I'm envious that you're in Florida!

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  22. Oh! My hubs would go crazy for this meal - he LOVES mussels. I like 'em, too...so this one's going on the list. I'll have to go back to the library and check this book out again!

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  23. Good for you. I skipped this recipe. I've never been able to do mussels.

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  24. The photo with the bread, glass of wine and the mussels is absolutely beautiful. What a lovely way to celebrate
    Valentines day. Enjoy your vacation.

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  25. I was surprised at how easy this recipe was and the results are fantastic. Yours turned out beautifully!

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  26. Perfect Valentine's meal, especially since your husband loves mussels so much! Your photos are beautiful.

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  27. I'm not too fond of mussels...got sick on them once, but seeing all the fresh ingredients on the cutting board makes me think that that they have to be very tasty!

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  28. Beautifully done, Kathy! I haven't made much shellfish either, so I was relieved it turned out perfectly :)

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  29. The mussels look great! My husband can't eat shellfish, so I won't be trying this recipe, but you've done a beautiful job with it.

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  30. This looks divine. I love mussels, and I would definitely love them prepared in this way. I've bookmarked this to try very soon.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog - I hope you'll visit again.

    Sue :-)

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  31. Sounds like a delicious valentine's day dinner. I used to be a little squeamish with mussels too, but over time I've gotten used to cooking them and now we make them a few times per year.

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