Mussels in Escabeche

 

Mussels in Escabeche

Daria Souvorova

45 minutes
serves: 6-8

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Ever since our trip to Barcelona last December, I have been planning and daydreaming about cooking Catalan food for our friends. After a month of menu-planning and experiments, I was ready!

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We had a bunch of friends over for a four course Catalan dinner this Saturday, and I think it was one of our best efforts. In traditional Spanish fashion, we did not want to serve the main course until late, so we served the courses slowly and did not finish dessert before midnight. Doesn’t everyone love a good 5 hour dinner every once in a while?

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I loved eating Manchengo and Iberico Ham in Barcelona, so I made sure to include them in our first course, with an assortment of olives, of course! We also had the opportunity to try a variety of fish stews in Barcelona, the weather was scheduled to be quite chilly this weekend, so a stew sounded just right. Susquet means fish stew, but you will see a wide variety of dishes referred to as Susquet, I cooked the water out of ours, fried some sardines on top and decided to serve it on toasted Ciabatta with our Catalan Sardines on Toast with Susquet. To keep the seafood starters going, we served Mussels in Escabeche, a mixture of seafood, veggies, and acid. Delicious!

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I was really excited to cook some mussels and decided that they would fit perfectly in the first course. I wanted something light and flavorful, that would give the guests an opportunity to make a bit of a mess and dip some bread into the delicious broth. The broth can be cooked in advance and reheated when you are ready to serve. The broth gives beauty to this fairly expensive and easy to cook dish. Slowly roasted veggies are extenuated with fish stock, paprika, and a mixture of white wine and vinegar. It is really amazing. I will keep the Escabeche on hand in my freezer for future mussel cravings! Serve it with some crusty bread like Baguette or Ciabatta!

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We followed up our first course with a traditional Catalan Calçotada. Calçots are similar to green onions and leeks and are in season for a short time during the winter. The Calçotada is a Catalan celebration of the start of spring, celebrated by grilling calçots and dipping them in a delicious Romesco sauce.

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Our main course, served at 10:30pm in Spanish fashion was a pretty impressive effort, if I do say so myself. We had a Rabbit and Artichoke Paella, a Squid Ink Rice with Prawns, an Escalivada of beautiful veggies, and Sea Bass roasted in a salt shell served with a delicious citrusy salad of Oranges, Radicchio and Pickled Red Onions.

At midnight, we finished our meal with a traditional Crema Catalana, a Brazo de Gitano filled with Persimmon Jam and Whipped Cream, and a simple but delicious Homemade Fresh Cheese with Honey (Mel & Mato).

I am incredibly proud of this meal and look forward to sharing the rest of the recipes with you in the coming days, so stay tuned and enjoy the Mussels in Escabeche recipe below!

Ingredients:

        • 1/4 cup olive oil
        • 1 large onion, minced
        • 2 carrots, minced
        • 3 stalks celery, minced
        • 1-2 teaspoons Paprika, to taste
        • 5 cloves garlic, minced
        • 6 sprigs thyme
        • 2 bay leaves
        • 1/2 cup white wine or sherry vinegar
        • 2 cups dry white wine
        • 1.5 teaspoons of clam or seafood stock and 1.5 cups water
        • salt and pepper/li>
        • 4 pounds fresh mussels, cleaned and de-bearded

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              1. In a medium sized Dutch Oven, cook veggies in oil for 15 minutes.
                Add paprika, garlic, and thyme and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
                Add liquids and cook on low for 30-40 minutes. Let rest for a few hours if you have time, the flavors deepen. I generally cook this one night in advance.
              2. Reheat Escabeche.
                Make sure all of the mussels are cleaned under cold water. Remove any beards that may still be on the mussels.
                Heat a large pan (that you have a lid for) until really hot.
                Add about a cup of water and the mussels. Cook for 2-3 minutes covered until the mussels are open.
                Discard any mussels that have not opened.
                Coat with warmed Escabeche and serve immediately.
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