Around My French Table, cheesy ciabatta, cherry pie, cherry rhubarb pie, chorizo, ciabatta, Dorie Greenspan, French Fridays with Dorie, garlic ciabatta, garlicky cheesy ciabatta, mussels, mussels and chorizo, oysters, oysters rockefeller, rhubarb pie, Valentine's day
As you all may have read by now, I got sick in the middle of the night following the most delicious Valentine’s dinner we have shared since we have been dating… apparently oysters (even cooked ones) and pregnancy don’t mix. No one knows why but oysters in particular cause pregnant bodies to react in ways they wouldn’t or ever have, so our Valentine’s day was pretty eventful! Our menu, you ask?
Sounds delicious, I bet!
And it was!
The best part of it? … Ok well there are two actually! First, Mei fell asleep just as the food was coming off the stove and out of the oven, which meant we could enjoy our meal together without interruption. Second? We just used our fingers and put all the mussels in a large, deep bowl that we could dip our bread into and dig into together and filled a platter with delicious oysters, and dug into our pie with just one fork to share. It was perfectly romantic and uber delicious!
My hubby and I really enjoy mussels, even though we don’t make it often, it is a quick dinner and one that I make my own ciabatta for. Since I make all of my bread with the help of Peter Reinhart, all the dough has to rest overnight in the fridge for a slow, cold proofing so it is a lot more work to make the bread than it is to prepare the mussels,… but worth every crunchy, cheesy, garlicky bite. This time, I chose not to sprinkle fresh parsley on it since I was using grated gruyere and it would be nutty and savory enough, where I usually use mozzarella and the parsely brings out some more flavor in the bread and cheese.
I digress, usually when we make mussels we opt with a fairly traditional white wine sauce for them with fresh herbs, onions and garlic. When I buy white wine at the store, I usually get a different bunch of wines each time, trying as many that have pretty, promising labels (a scary way to shop for wines to a sommelier perhaps) so the sauce comes out tasting a bit different each time which keeps things interesting. I buy lots and lots of white wine as it is easily something that is used in nearly 80% of all the savory recipes I make so we have a few favorites for different dishes and other times we experiment with different bottles. With all the different wines out there and living in England, not to experiment and try as many wines as you can could be considered a crime, no?
But this recipe had caught my eye when I first received this book in the mail and we have been waiting for this one to come around – and what better day could we have asked for? I love chorizo but don’t cook with it or eat it nearly as much, and we certainly don’t buy as much as the recipe requests at one time so this was an exciting buy for me. We really enjoyed putting this one together and the pot of shiny, blue-black beauties was bursting with addicting flavor!
Never have we been so consumed by a bowl of mussels that we submitted to complete silence, only to be broken by the click clack of shells breaking apart and slurping! This was hands down our favorite savory Dorie recipe so far! We took our first break simultaneously to grab a slab of gruyere ciabatta to dunk into the sauce and sit back in our seats for a short break and a little conversation before diving right back into our massive bowl of mussels.
Before you get the wrong idea, we didn’t make the full four pounds worth of mussels that Dorie’s recipe calls for – we opted for just one kilogram worth, since that is how they come packaged at the fish mongers and about the amount that satiates us both with a side of ciabatta. Not to mention, we also made a dozen oysters and paired some French Muscat wine that Mei and I brought back from Paris for our dinner. We were full, fat and happy by the end of the meal and doing a happy dance that Mei slept until well after we had finished our meal. Trust me when I say, it doesn’t happen often enough! I totally understand why Betty Draper fed her children earlier in the evening and got them off to bed so that she could eat dinner with her husband, Don Draper, when and IF he came home from work. Although by the time Mei gets a bit older, having family meals wont be such a Barnum & Baileys act, but one where she can sit in her own chair and appreciate her own plate of food instead of insisting on hanging off our arms and grabbing handfuls of steaming food and crying… she makes us smile and keeps us on our feet though, which makes these days some of the most precious.
I hear that many of the other Doristas fell in love with this recipe too! To see how the they enjoyed it, click here. To join our group, find yourself a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table” and head over here to join in the fun!