Mussels Steamed in Ale

My new favorite mussel recipe.  The mustard adds a nice tang.


Saute 3 minutes:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large shallot diced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Add 3/4 cup ale and bring broth to simmer

Add 2 lbs cleaned mussels

Cover and simmer 7 to 10 minutes, until mussels open. Stirring a couple times.

Remove mussels to serving bowl. To broth whisk in 1 to 3 tbsp butter, 1 tsp dijon mustard and 1 tbsp chopped parsley. Pour over mussels. Serve with crusty bread.


Fish Soup


This takes a while but you can make it the day before.  It also freezes well.   I modified this recipe a little.  I used clam juice instead of the fish stock…shallot instead of leek and canned tomato rather than fresh.  This would be a great base for any fish/seafood soup.


  • 1 large leek, green part coarsely chopped and white part cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 lb plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or canned diced tomatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons canned tomato purée (or juice from canned tomato)
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 qt white fish stock (or clam juice)
  • French bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb skinned white fish fillets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rouille (optional)
  • Chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley


    1. Wash green and white parts of leek separately in a bowl of cold water, then lift out with a slotted spoon and pat dry. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook leek greens, onion, celery, and carrots, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add saffron, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato purée and cook, stirring, 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by about half, about 30 minutes.
    2. Stir in stock or clam juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Carefully pour through a fine sieve into a bowl, then discard solids.
    3. Cut bread into thick slices, brush with olive oil  and toast in 300°F oven.
    4. Heat butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook white part of leek, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add fish, hot broth, and salt and bring to a simmer (fish will be cooked through). Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rouille.
    5. Serve soup with toasted bread and garnish with fresh herbs.

I think this soup would be great without the rouille but it does add another layor.  I like it spread on fresh bread too.  Here’s what I used:

  • 1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Mash garlic to a paste with salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a large knife).  Purée bell peppers, garlic paste, jalapeño, and bread crumbs in a food processor. With motor running, slowly add oil, then lemon juice and pepper, blending until very smooth (it will look like an orange-pink mayonnaise).







Roasted Golden Beets

These beets don’t bleed like red beets and I think they have a sweeter more delicate flavor.  Wash and trim, wrap in foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 1 1/4 hours.   Cool and peel. Another method to try…peel, chop, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast like other root vegetables. …400 degrees about 20 minutes.


Broccoli Quinoa Bites


I used what I had on hand for these but I’m going to try some other variations very soon.  They will definitely be part of Easter brunch this year.

1 cup of cooked quinoa and 1 egg made twelve.  I added another cup of finely chopped cooked broccoli, 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, chopped parsley and a little chopped tomato for color. Salt and pepper.    Combine everything but egg then stir in beaten egg.   Scoop into mini muffin tins and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.

Here’s some other takes on the same idea.

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Mushroom Herb Quinoa Bites





Buffalo Quinoa Bites

Buffalo Quinoa Bites |


Mexican Quinoa Bites

DSC 0410 Mexican Quinoa Bites