Mussels al Diablo
– serves 4
Growing up my family (mother) as all families tend to have, had her staple meals that she made. I thought they were the norm, and sure it was the norm but not really in this country. I took for granted what are now considered only something we eat in a restaurant, or for a special occasion. I don’t really know why they aren’t used more commonly since most of them are very inexpensive, healthy, and easy to make. That is why, I am sure, they were a staple meal in my home. So, at least once a week we would have Mussels! They are delicious, a great source of protein, low in fat, and can be used as a main course or add them to some quinoa or another grain and make an absolutely delicious meal that your friends will be very impressed by.
Quick note: On occasion, I use or have no problem using ingredients that would or may be considered to be higher in fat than you may expect in some of these recipes, the fact of the matter is that a little bit of good fats is what we need. One small healthy meal that you enjoy and satisfies your taste buds will be worth eating on every level. The saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff” works here. Olive oil is an essential fatty acid and I am a great proponent in using it with all my meals, other ingredients such as the croutons that will be made are also not a problem if you eat them in moderation as part of the meal, and if all your foods throughout the day are well balanced and moderate. You will see that this is a healthy and gratifying way of eating, it is in the portions and the time of night you eat and what you have eaten throughout the day. Enjoy!
What you need:
40 Prince Edward Island mussels or other high-quality mussels
1-cup olive oil
¼ baguette, sliced on the diagonal into eight ¼-inch thick pieces
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 cups canned tomatoes with their juice, crushed
1-teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup dry white wine
½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves slivered, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for garnish
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 425’ F
Clean the mussels by scrubbing well under cold running water and removing and beards (you may find them already clean but if not this is very easy to do).
Pour ½ cup of the olive oil into a shallow baking dish. Lay the bread for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer the croutons to a plate to cool.
Pour the remaining ½ cup of olive oil into a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the mussels, tomatoes, and pepper flakes and season with salt to taste (use sparingly) Stir well and cook for about 15 minutes.
Add the wine and parsley, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until all the mussels open. (Discard any that do not open.)
Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large serving bowl, Garnish with parsley and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Stud the bowl with croutons and serve.