Monthly Archives: February 2012

french fridays with dorie: mussels and chorizo with or without pasta

After last’s week debacle with the Nutella tartine, this week’s selection for French Fridays with Dorie was a welcome change: mussels and chorizo with or without pasta.

Mussels are a long-time favorite at my house. I think they’re the easiest shellfish to prepare. No peeling, and if they don’t have a beard, they just need a quick scrubbing before they’re ready to go in the pot. Mussels are incredibly versatile. And they have a clean, fresh, oceany flavor.

Mussels can be farmed or wild. Whole Foods had wild mussels from Moosabec Mussels, located in Jonesport in Eastern Maine along a beautiful stretch of coastline between one of my favorite places on earth, Acadia National Park, and New Brunswick, Canada.

For this recipe, you start with a base of tomatoes, onions, garlic, white wine, and herbs (I used rosemary). Sliced chorizo gets added to the pot, to add a little bit of spice. The mussels go into the pot for a short steam, 3 to 5 minutes, and after which they pop open, begging to be eaten.

How to serve the cooked mussels? The name of the recipe offers two different options, with or without pasta. For Dinner #1, I served big bowls of mussels with warmed crusty bread to sop up the juices. The two of us ate about half the mussels for that first dinner. With the leftovers, my dear sous-chef/husband plucked the mussels out of their shells and stirred them into the tomato base left in the pot. For Dinner #2 (and Lunch #3), I cooked a box of linguine and tossed with the mussels in sauce.

Both ways were equally delicious. It would be hard to choose a favorite between them. This was a winner no matter how you look at it.

To see the other FFwD bloggers’ experience with this delicious recipe, check out their links here. As for the recipe, we’re asked not to share the recipes, so you’ll have to get your hands on a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s book.

Podcasts, My Guilty Pleasure

Years ago, I told Howard that someone needed to invent a VCR for the radio, just so I could listen to the NPR show, Fresh Air, which is never on at a good time for a working person to listen. I had to wait a number of years, but Apple invented podcasts, the perfect solution, and now I never miss a show. In fact, now I have quite the lineup of shows I listen to every week.

I have a short commute, but do listen to podcasts while I drive. I do the bulk of my listening while I walk Bella the dog. Howard is struggling with a knee injury, so, in addition to short morning and bedtime walks, I’m now in charge of Bella’s lengthier evening walk after work. Now I’m finding that I exhaust my podcast list almost daily.

Here’s a list of my lineup. Do you have any favorite podcasts to recommend that I add to my list? I’m always open to something new, so please share your ideas.

Fresh Air: Terry Gross hosts this daily show (Monday through Friday) where authors, actors, journalists, politicians, and other interesting people are interviewed. Music, books, and movies are also reviewed.

This American Life: Ira Glass hosts this classic NPR show featuring a number of related offbeat pieces on a different weekly theme.

New Yorker Out Loud: A short weekly conversation with a New Yorker writer about an article in the week’s issue. For someone who couldn’t possibly read a weekly magazine with any regularity, this is a great weekly fix.

Radiolab: This show is in the same vein as This American Life, but the topics are science-related. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, this podcast comes out bi-weekly, sometimes full-length, sometimes just a 20-minute short. This is one of my favorites.

99% Invisible: I recently discovered this podcast by way of Radiolab. Roman Mars talks about some aspect of design that you typically would not notice. The latest episode about postage stamps was awesome.

Snap Judgment: This is the latest addition to my podcast lineup. I just heard it on the radio for the first time last weekend. It seems to be similar to This American Life and Radiolab with offbeat stories on a weekly theme. As I mentioned, I’m running out of things to listen to, so, while unproven, I’m hopeful this will be a good one.

The Splendid Table: Lynne Rossetto Kasper hosts this weekly show featuring interviews with chefs, cookbook authors, wine experts and other people with an interest in food.

Edible Radio: A variety of regular shows, each with its own host, irregularly published, about all things food, with the focus on local and sustainable, just like the regional Edible publications.

NPR Food: Sometimes weekly, this podcast is a sort of “best of” the food-related stories from different NPR shows.

Spilled Milk: Molly Wizenberg (of the Orangette blog) and her friend Matthew Amster-Burton have a hilarious biweekly chat about food. It reminds me of Car Talk for food, with little useful information, but a lot of laughs.

A Way to Garden: A weekly chat with Margaret Roach, head gardener at the wonderful gardening blog A Way to Garden. Margaret shares ideas for chores, techniques, and other seasonal gardening advice.

Ken Druse Real Dirt: Elaine of California Living recommended this one to me. Each week, Ken interviews a different garden expert. The topics are varied, and the conversation is always educational and entertaining.

New Yorker Fiction: Each month, a writer for the New Yorker selects and reads a story that was previously published in the New Yorker. I’ve discovered some new authors this way. The highlight of each podcast is the discussion between the selector and fiction editor Deborah Treisman before and after the reading.

NPR Books: Sometimes weekly, this podcast includes book-related excerpts from different NPR shows.

The Moth: A short weekly installment excerpted from The Moth’s storytelling shows.

The Story Collider This is another podcast discovered by way of Radiolab. A short weekly installment excerpted from The Story Collider’s science-related storytelling shows.

My list is heavy on NPR shows, but I’m a loyal support of my public radio stations WBUR in Boston and MPBN in Maine, so I have no guilt.