Wild sautéed “moscioli” mussels

Mussels, as clams and oysters, are extremely nutritious as very delicious. Those plant-like bivalves could add to food security in aquaculture, that we need so much now. They filter their food from the water, cleaning thus gallons of water by day, and that of course improves the habitat for other sea creatures around them. It is obvious that the cleaner the sea, less hard work for them and purer and healthy product. Now is the high season for the “moscioli”, wild mussels of the Conero regional park area, Marche region, Italy, that starts from april and ends in september. Visitors of the Conero riviera, are ever so lucky to get to taste those exclusive sea gems. I made a simple sautéed version. Mussels are such a great food, just be careful of pick well when buying them.

Continue Reading…

Tagliolini with clams

This dish is definitely on my list of things worth living for. Isaac Davis (Woody Allen’s character in his film Manhattan), makes his list including amongst other things Louis Armstrongs’ recording of “Potato Head Blues”, Swedish movies, Sentimental Education by Flaubert, the incredible pears by Cézanne and the Crabs at Sam Wo’s. These creamy tagliolini are highly quoted on a similar list of mine. The dish is Napoli originated and has conquered the tastebuds of Italy and the world. Like so many Italian dishes, it’s so simple, but as always it is the quality of the ingredients and the attentive cooking that rule the outcome. You can of course make this pasta dish with normal spaghetti, but fresh egg tagliolini are exalting in the most delicious way the creaminess of the clams and delivering the salty lightly spicy taste of the sauce.

Continue Reading…

Steamed shrimps with aïoli

This is one of the easiest and fastest recipes I know, as one of the most rewarding one. Ready in less than 10 minutes, this simple seafood dish, is the perfect refreshing nutritious lunch on a hot summer day in good company or as a starter in the summer party. Of course it’s great in any season. Important that you get the freshest shrimp available, to enjoy at the most the natural flavor of this precious ingredient. Taste them on their own or with fresh sauces of choice. I love them dipped in home made aïoli garlic mayonnaise or cocktail sauce.

 

Ingredients

  • 900g medium sized shrimps with shell
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper or normal ground pepper
  • some lemon wedges

Method

  1. Sprinkle the seasoning all over the shrimps and let it rest for marinating for 5 minutes.
  2. Arrange the shrimps in a steaming basket (or a steamer) and bring 2 cups of water to the boil in a pot of same diameter. The shrimps should not touch the water.
  3. Steam the shrimps for about 3 minutes (5 if they are particularly large).
  4. Remove the shrimps from the steaming basket, squeeze some lemon juice on top, and serve alone or with aïoli garlic mayonnaise or cocktail sauce.
    *Put some bowls next to plates with hot water and extra lemon wedges and a small towel for washing hands that you will need for removing the crunchy shells.

Grilled bacon wrapped salmon with lemon pepper and lemon slices

This is one of my favorite summer dishes to be barbecued if possible, but great in oven too. I accompany to this dish the memory of impetuous Icelandic salmon rivers, and the incredibly fresh odor of the bright summer night accompanied by the fatty and slightly smoky perfume from the barbecue. The contrast between the fatness of the salmon and bacon to the zesty freshness of the lemon pepper and fresh lemon, make your taste buds very happy. Then we exalt the flavors by adding a drip of extra virgin olive oil. I post this recipe with mixed feelings though, because unfortunately the wild salmon stock is suffering a great deal because of intensive salmon farming, the Nordic one in phase of distinction actually. I am for eating “O kilometres” and local as much as possible, so if you have the possibility of a local sustainable choice for making this recipe, it is a great fish, and eating it in a conscious way, once in a while, reminds us of the important fact to take care of our eco system. Click HERE to sign the petition of amotistraumnum, an invitation to the government of Iceland to create a policy establishing a sustainable fish farming industry that exists in harmony with nature.

Continue Reading…

Belle-Île-en-Mer

Beautiful Island in The Sea“, is the name of this island off the coast of Brittany in Northwest France. The one who gave it that name, really chose one that suits this fascinating place perfectly. The island is simply stunning in every aspect, and it certainly does not come as a surprise, that its remarkable beauty has been (and continues to be) a source of inspiration for artists all over the world.

Continue Reading…

Mussel pasta with tomato sauce

The classical Italian pasta dish “Spaghetti (or) pasta alle cozze” , is very easy to make and its smooth texture, perfume and taste are irresistible (in my opinion). Both this classical “rosso” version and the “bianco” variant without the tomatoes. It’s one of those dishes that speak of summer, freshness and ripe tomatoes. The salty taste and scent of the mussels “speak” of the sea, the mild herbs and the bright red color of the tomatoes, make it an ideal summer dish.

Continue Reading…