Irish Mussels with Irish Blue Cheese and Irish Parsnips

Recently we took a plane to Dublin for a return visit to Conor and ‘the wife’ (a.k.a. Sharon). They showed us a really great time.

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We stayed in a wonderful house with a huge kitchen by Lough Derg (a beautiful lake in the county of Tipperary). Continue reading “Irish Mussels with Irish Blue Cheese and Irish Parsnips”

Pasta with Mussels, Roquefort and Broccoli

The second time I cooked in someone else’s kitchen because I couldn’t use mine, I went to my parents. (In the meantime the floor has been finished and I can use my kitchen again, and I have been so busy cooking to celebrate that I didn’t have time left to post — the posts from that cooking frenzy will follow soon.) As I was surprised how good mussels with roquefort turned out to be, I thought it’d be nice to share this with my parents as I know they love seafood. To turn it into a whole dish of Italian-French fusion, I made a combination of pasta with mussels and broccoli with the roquefort sauce. It was no surprise that it turned out nicely. If you like mussels and blue cheese, you have got to try the combination. It really works!

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Continue reading “Pasta with Mussels, Roquefort and Broccoli”

Seafood Cous Cous

The final dish in the series of Sicilian dishes I cooked for my parents is a seafood cous cous. I’m hesitant to refer to it as “Cous Cous Siciliano”, because I used a few shortcuts. You see, traditional cous cous in Sicily is made from scratch from coarse semolina flour and water, and then steamed in a terra cotta pot with holes in the bottom called a cuscussiera. The cuscussiera is sealed to the pot with simmering water underneath by a simple dough of flour and water. Instead, I used store-bought cous cous (also made from semolina flour) and followed the instruction on the package for cooking it, which says: combine the cous cous with an equal amount of hot water or stock, cover, and wait 7 minutes. That is indeed a whole lot easier, and although I didn’t do a side by side comparison the cous cous didn’t seem any different from what I remember from trying it in Sicily.

In Sicily, cous cous is flavored with bay leaf, cinnamon, almonds, parsley, onion, and garlic, and served with a tomato-fish stock and fish. I made up this recipe using this general guideline and using gurnard (“rode poon” in Dutch) and mussels as the seafood and we loved it. They keys to great cous cous are fresh fish, homemade stock, and not overcooking the fish. When using store-bought cous cous, it’s not that hard.  Continue reading “Seafood Cous Cous”

Pasta with mussels and broccoli (Orecchiette alle cozze e broccoli)

This is a simple but healthy and delicious pasta dish that we eat regularly. The combination of mussels and broccoli works very well, and the ‘juice’ that is left from cooking the mussels makes a very tasty sauce. Ingredients For 2 servings as a full meal or 4 servings in a larger menu 1 kg (2.2 lbs) mussels 500 grams (1 pound) broccoli 150-200 grams (1/3-1/2 pound) of flat short pasta such as orecchiette or farfalle 1 onion 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine 3 anchovy fillets 1 glove garlic dried chilli pepper extra virgin olive oil salt some … Continue reading Pasta with mussels and broccoli (Orecchiette alle cozze e broccoli)