My friend Leonore has been visiting from Ireland with her husband and we went to the Pike Place Market. This is my favorite place to take my house guests as I go to buy the freshest produce in Seattle and it's also a great tourist destination and a good place for them to buy Seattle products. Probably most known for the flying fish stand, it really is a great place to buy seafood. Penn Cove Mussels looked especially good and after also securing some great cheese at DeLaurenti's and the Spanish Table along with some great Chorizo and some crusty bread, we went home to make a Northwest/Spanish feast. Leonore is originally from Spain so she made mussels in the Spanish style with a tomato sauce and even my son, who normally dislikes most everything with tomato sauce in it (except pizza) became an instant convert. Her mussels were delicious! The sauce was amazing for soaking up bread so make sure to have lots on hand. Here's her wonderful recipe:
2 pounds Penn Cove Mussels rinsed
2 cups white wine
3 bay leaves
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large shallot chopped
1 small onion chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
2 Tablespoons Basil torn into small pieces
1 large 28 oz can Tomato Sauce
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and add shallot, onion and garlic. Stir until onion and shallot is softened. Add in Tomato Sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add Basil, stir and turn off heat. Meanwhile, get mussels ready to cook.
In a pot large enough to hold all the mussels, heat white wine and bay leaves until wine is boiling. Add in mussels and steam for 5 minutes or until most of the mussels are open. Discard all that do not open. Remove mussels and add to the Tomato Sauce mixture. Strain out about one cup of wine/mussel broth, removing bay leaves and also add to the tomato mixture. Stir to mix and serve in bowls with lots of crusty bread for dipping.
Five Element Analysis
Mussels are clearly from the Water Element and enhance kidney and reproductive organ function. Tomato Sauce belongs to the Fire Element. Garlic, Shallot and Onions represent the Metal Element along with the Basil and Bay Leaves. The bread adds the Wood Element. Only the Earth Element is missing so serve something Earthy as a side dish or something sweet for desert.