Monday, July 28, 2008

Mussels In White Wine


Florida isn't called the Sunshine State for no reason. It truly lives up to its name because here, we live in a sweltering heat for most of the year. At times it feels like living in a huge oven cranked way up. It really does.

So rain in a place like this is truly refreshing. Its cooling effect is certainly much needed. It is a welcome respite to the daily humdrum of our lives, at least for me.
There is something about rain that is soothing. In the bible, rain means blessing. It symbolizes a fresh start, a new beginning.

Where I originally come from (Philippines), there were only 2 seasons – the dry (summer) and the wet (rainy) season, with the latter being longer because really, it rains even in the middle of summer.

As a teenager, I looked forward to the rainy season. For me, it meant curling up in my bed to read a good novel; or, I would simply sit by the window to look at the rain drops drenching the ground while the sun-stroked leaves of the trees and plants are being quenched by its refreshing shower.

It was during those rainy times that I learned how to daydream. Yes, as a girl, I’ve done my share of daydreaming. The steady sound of the rain pounding the roof, the occasional lightning that strikes and the roll of thunderstorm thereafter had a hypnotic-like effect that caused me to drift away into the land of fantasy. Most often than not, those fantasies were related to the romance-novels that I’ve read where I usually was the story’s heroine, or the love-interest of a gorgeous young Prince. Isn't that how it is when we're young?

(In those days, there were no computers, video games and cellphones.)

Oh well, those were the days. Now back to reality.

I made this dish a while back but I did this after a day of incessant raining. I felt that a warm soup getting home after work would be good for my tired body. And I happened to have these mussels which I originally purchased because I had planned on making “baked tahong” (baked mussels, a popular dish in the Philippines). But then, since I wanted soup, I guess the “baked tahong” will have to wait for next time.

Afterall, a girl is entitled to change her mind, isn't she?


Mussels Soup In White Wine
1 lb mussels
1 c white wine
1 c chicken broth/stock
1 pc shallot, finely chopped
2 pcs garlic, finely chopped
1/3 c spinach
2 tbsp parsely*, chopped
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Rinse and scrub mussels. Using a pairing knife, remove the strings that hang from the shells and discard.
2. In a pot set over medium heat, combine wine, shallots, garlic, and salt.
3. Simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the mussels.
4. Cover and increase heat to high. Cook until mussels are open.
5. Stir in spinach, parsely (or whatever herbs you want) and butter. Remove from heat. Discard any unopened mussels.
6. Serve immediately with a crusty bread. Garnish with chives.

*NOTE: You can use whatever herb you like such as basil or tarragon.


Jude said...

Really miss having only two seasons and having warm weather all year round. This really sounds like something I'd want on a rainy day.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I love mussels done like these. Which reminds me, I've been wanting mussels for a couple of weeks now. Just haven't bought some because when I think about debearding them, well, I don't want to. ;)

Manggy said...

I love mussels! I will be looking forward to your baked tahong :) (oftentimes when it's served in restaurants they become tough and gross!)
Rainy days are great for daydreaming-- till I find a job, haha :)

tastymealsathome said...

coool - we made a recipe with tomato and cream, but just white wine sounds very good too and simple. nice picture too!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

yumm love mussels...and rainy days, only when i am at my air con-ed home hehe

iska said...

I love mussels! Gotta try this recipe of yours...

Here in NZ, gigantic ang tahong... grabe!

Sophie said...

Looks so delicious and savory! Great idea to cook it with white wine :). The photos make it look like such an elegant dish! We would love to feature your recipe on our blog and possibly our digital cookbook. Please email if you're interested. Have a great week ahead!