Sunday, October 11, 2009

#10: Mussels with Carrots, White Onion and Dill

I posted a poll a few days ago in order to get input from my loyal readers. Each of those readers apparently voted about 5-6 times, as I got 11 votes total. I asked whether my next dish should feature red bell peppers, fennel bulb or dill, and dill was the victor. After seeing dill take the lead, I started to wonder why I had given it as an option. While I like dill just fine, I hardly ever cook with it. The idea of dill with mussels just didn't appeal to me that much. But I have to make 50 damn recipes, so it was inevitable that I would have to use a less-than-desirable ingredient at some point.
I was racking my brain for other ingredients to use in the recipe. My lovely girlfriend Tiana has been very supportive of this project, and she decided to search online for dishes with both dill and mussels. She rattled off descriptions of different dishes until she mentioned one with carrots. I realized instantly that this was the ingredient I was looking for. Carrots, onions and dill make for a tasty combination. I picked up some salmon heads to make a stock with, as well as some dinner rolls from Sarcone's Bakery and a bottle of Ruffino Orvieto. The Orvieto was probably not the best pairing for the dish, but it wasn't too bad for its price.

4 lbs. Mussels, cleaned and debearded
3 Large carrots, chopped fine
1 Small white onion, chopped fine
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Fresh dill, chopped
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 cup Dry white wine
3 cups Fish stock (recipe below)

1) Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.

2) Add carrots and onions (salt and pepper to taste). Saute for 6 minutes.

3) Add garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes, then increase heat to high.

4) Add wine and 1/4 cup of dill. Let wine simmer for 1-2 minutes.

5) Add stock. When stock begins to simmer, add mussels and cover. Cook 5 minutes or until mussels open.

6) Stir in the remainder of the dill.

For simple fish stock:

2 Salmon heads
1 Large carrot, diced
1 Small white onion, peeled and halved
4 cloves Garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Fresh dill, chopped

1) Place fish heads in large pot. Add cold water to cover.

2) Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the remainder of the ingredients, along with salt and pepper to taste.

3) Simmer for 1-2 hours, or until 3 cups of stock remain.

4) Strain stock to remove solids.

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