Mussels in Spicy Tomato Sauce

mussels in spicy tomato sauce

Hello my friends! Hope all is well and that you have not forgotten me. Its been a while since my last post or rather since I last logged on to this site. And I’m deeply touched when a couple of you specially wrote to ask about me. I’ve been busy making some changes to the next stage of my career/life and will need to take another break from sharing my recipes after this till I’ve settled down in another city.

This is a really simple and flavorful dish to make.

big fat mussels

finely chopped garlic

black pepper

sea salt

finely chopped fresh chili (the hottest you can find)

tomato sauce

fresh basil

olive oil

white wine

Heat up olive oil in a pan over medium heat and throw in garlic, chili, pepper and salt. When aroma fills the air, put in mussels follow by a glug of white wine. Once the alcohol evaporates, put in tomato sauce follow by fresh basil and cook for another minute or two.  Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Hope you will like it. Take care everyone. I’ll be back!

PAN FRIED BRINJAL

I’ve never liked brinjals or eggplants when I was young. Only much later than I realized it’s the way it was cooked in the old oriental style that makes it mushy.  I am quite afraid of mushy food.

I learnt to enjoy it after I followed a chef on TV to fry it till caramelized and top it on pasta in crushed raw tomato sauce with basil, sea salt and lots of black pepper. That’s when I know that other than onions, brinjals and eggplants can be cooked till caramelized as well and it taste really good.

Grilling or pan fry works for me. This time, although it takes more effort, I pan fried it to avoid getting hard edges that results from grilling.

1 large brinjal cut into pieces about half a centimeter thick (egg plants are more expensive in Singapore)

Sea salt

Black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Chopped cherry tomatoes

Lemon juice

Heat up enough olive oil in a non-stick pan over small-medium fire. Put in brinjals and add salt and pepper. Fry both sides till brown and caramelized. Remove from pan and cool it in the fridge for an hour. Squeeze a quarter lemon and serve with chopped cherry tomatoes.  

 

SWEET PEPPER WITH GARLIC & BASIL SAUCE

It should be more than 15 years ago when I saw an Italian lady making this dish on TV. Back then I have not really started cooking and certainly not able to appreciate the taste of sweet pepper. In fact I remember red pepper was quite unusual at that time. The green ones are more commonly used in Chinese cooking.

I was curious why the lady needs to grill the pepper over stove fire and remove the skin but I could not get any answers so I did not bother about it till recently when this whole scene suddenly flash by my mind. That’s when I know it’s time for me to try it.

I did some research and found out that the skin is believed to be difficult for digestion. That’s why it is normally being removed in Italian cooking. I used the same method as describe above to remove the skin only to realize it is really messy and the stains that need to be scrub clean from the stove is crazy.

During my second attempt, I cut the peppers into half and remove the seeds and membranes before placing them skin side up and grill it in an oven pre-heat at 220 degree Celsius for 20 minutes. It turns out the skin tears off by itself without any effort. The texture of the pepper becomes really smooth with all the sweet juices that come out from it.

Sauce

Good extra virgin olive oil

Finely chopped garlic

Chopped sweet basil

Black pepper

Sea salt

Balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients together. Cut pepper into bite size and mix well with the sauce. It taste even better after chilling it in the fridge for an hour.