Yesterday I stopped at the fish market for my semi-weekly B-12 dosage. Last night I prepared one of my favorite tapas dishes: mejillones a la vinagreta, from Penelope Casas’ Tapas cookbook.
Since it requires marinating the mussels overnight, it was an opportunity to invite friends over for dinner tonight. See my email message below.
“Mejillones a la Vinegreta…or in Spanish, Mussels in a Vinaigrette.
Tomorrow night for supper, I am planning a culinary injection of B-12 into my diet. I’ve already prepared one of my favorite tapas, the dish listed above. It requires the steamed mussels to sit overnight in the savory vinaigrette, so it will ready to go in an instant tomorrow. If either or both of you can figure out a way to come over and share it with me (there are almost two dozen mussels, and Barbara won’t touch them), you are most welcome. Naturally, I have several other ideas of how to complete the meal, and the wine choices will be up to the standards to which you have become accustomed.”
Only Michael was available, so he came over (bringing a bag of freshly-picked stinging nettles, I might add), and joined us for the full repast:
If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you will have already seen much of this meal — Leftovers ‘R Us.
I did do a little cooking and inventing. For lunch I made a soup of Turkish red lentils with garlic, crushed coriander seed, and spinach, finished with cumin and Maras pepper. I decide it would also be a fitting intro to this meal.
Second, was a way to use 6 large white button mushrooms I had purchased earlier in the week — Mushroom Stuffed Mushrooms. An Italian antipasto, it is made with a mixture of the mushroom stems finely chopped, along with diced shallot and chopped dried and rehydrated porcini. The filling is cooked with the porcini liquid and white wine, then topped with fine homemade bread crumbs and baked until tender and browned.
Finally, was the pasta course. In previous summers I had made some homemade pasta with haricots verts and tapenade from an Alice Waters pasta cookbook. Today’s riff on that theme took advantage of a new ingredient: sprouted rye berries. Where the f…k do you get those? Well, I sometimes make a homemade Rejuvelac to add to my morning smoothie and to use in making cashew cheese. A fresh batch was completed this morning, so rather than put the sprouted rye berries in the refrigerator, only to discard them 10 days hence (after putting a few on peanut butter sandwiches), I decided to use them in cooking. I sautéed half an onion in 1/4 cup of olive oil, then added the rye berries and salt and pepper. They tasted good, so I decided to use them in the pasta dish.
When mixed with the steamed haricots verts and Kalamata olive paste, along with the spaghetti made from chestnut flour, I had an unusual and successful pasta dish. As you can see from the menu, we had two wines: a 2005 Herri Mina — a Basque white from Petit and Gros Manseng grapes from the French side of the Pyrenees, and a 2008 Aglianico from Polvanera in Puglia, of which I’ve written in glowing terms before.
Not bad for mostly leftovers.