Ever have one of those Saturdays where there was nothing on the “to do”, “to fix”, “to buy”, “to go see” or “to find” lists? It’s a rare and oh so satisfying, of a Saturday.
Yeah, I just had one. Slept in. Drank coffee on the sofa til noon. Lounged the afternoon away with a Soccer game on TV (not my choice ok), my Mac in lap ( to browse favorite blogs and websites only) and a cute puppy head on my knee, snoring happily away. Still in PJs.
Around 5 in that beautiful Spring light, quite like no other, I decided we should go for a looong walk. No place in particular. Just a stroll. We window shopped, bought lemonade from two little girls at their stoop stand, chased squirrels in the park (well one of us did) and admired great brownstone architecture. Two hours later, we had worked up…an appetite. Not wanting anything too heavy but ultimately satisfying, rich and flavorful, we decided on…
Mussels in a Saffron Roasted Garlic, Tomato, Onion and Coconut Milk Bath with Shrimp, Chorizo and fresh Basil. Yes to warm, fresh-bakedcrusty bread and a lovely Malbec to wash it down. Yes, to a big bowl of love on the coffee table to nibble on while watching a movie, back in our positions on the sofa. Yes, to a rare and relished Saturday.
(Serves 2 as main course; 4 as starter)
1 lb. Fresh Mussels, rinsed and bearded (I like the small savory guys)
1/2 Medium Vidalia Onion
1 TBsp. Saffron Threads
1 TBsp. Red Chili Flakes
5 Whole Cloves of Garlic
2 Cups Fresh Chopped Tomatoes
1 Cup Madeira
1/2 lb. Medium Shrimp
1 Cup Chorizo, Cooked and cut into 1″ pieces
1 Can Coconut Milk (I use the “lite”)
1/2 Cup Fresh Chopped Basil
1 Hunk of warm crusty Italian Bread
1 Bottle of Malbec
Rub garlic cloves with olive oil and put in a 450 degree oven on a baking tray for 20 minutes until soft.
In a deep pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the saffron and chili. Stir til it sizzles. Add the onion. Add the roasted garlic. Stir. Saute until onions are just soft. Add the tomatoes and give a big stir. Add the Madeira and let cook down and meld for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the shrimp for 3 minutes, then add the chorizo and mussels. Add the can of coconut milk. Give it all a BIG stir and cover with a lid for 5-8 minutes until the mussels open. Could it be easier?
Pour into a big bowl. Sprinkle with fresh chopped Basil and a good grind of fresh black pepper.
As you dive your mussel shell fork (would that be a Mork?) into the bowl, make sure you get the perfect catch with a bit of roasted garlic, onion, a chorizo penny, a tomato bit, a mussel and a healthy dip of saffron coconut milk broth. Use a bit of bread as a “catch-all napkin”. Then dip that crusty bread into the broth. Finger licking good for sure. Add a swirl of Malbec. Rest. Repeat.