Follow my adventures while living in Italy with my husband and our two dogs Moose the whippet and Ruby the Australian Terrier. It's sure to be full of fun, frustration and cultural confusion.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Cooking dinners

So what have I been up to apart from sweating profusely in the ridiculously hot weather that is Bolzano in August? Well mainly trying to source things we need for the apartment (we have a washing machine and tongs! and a vegetable peeler!) and find a flat in Munich. I need a flat in Munich because I GOT A JOB IN MUNICH! I start at the beginning of September and am heading up to Munich tomorrow to view a few flats.

The other thing I've been doing is playing the wife and keeping house. To be honest I don't love this job. Cleaning doesn't give me much satisfaction, luckily the apartment is tiny and requires little cleaning. The part I do like is cooking dinner. As I'm not working right now I get to cook dinner the way I like - plan a menu for the next couple of days, head to the supermarket and get everything I need and then cook. Fyi the way I don't like to cook is when you get home after a long day at work, Joe is whining he is hungry and with half empty cupboards you need to magically (and quickly) make something delicious.

So in our tiny kitchen I have been cooking dinner almost every night. I cook from cookbooks. I like the method of following a recipe, I might tweak it a little but I like the order of getting out all the ingredients and following the steps. Currently I have one cookbook with me. Everyday by Peter Gordon.The man is a genius, everything is delicious and I'm having a great time working my way through it. Some of my favourites are Chicken breast en papillote with cherry tomatoes and rosemary, Pasta with blue cheese, walnuts and pear, Tuna skewers and squid with parsley yoghurt, Red curried potato, mushrooms and spinach. Saturday night we had Mussels with Tomato, Chilli and Mint and it was so easy and so delicious I thought I'd share it with you.

You need:

  • 1 large red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli sliced (these are difficult to source in bolzano, I can only get sweet peppers so I used chilli flakes)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pinches of saffron
  • 1 kg mussels, beards and barnacles removed (this was Joe's job, thanks Joe!)
  • 1 kg of cockles or clams (I didn't have any of these so we just had mussels)
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 small handful of mint leaves shredded
1. In a large pot saute the onion, chilli and garlic in oil until it begins to caramelize
2. Add safron then mussels, turn the heat to full and put the lid on for 2 mins. Give it a shake now and then.
3. Give it a stir and add the tomatoes, wine and butter and put the lid back on.
4. Cook until the mussels have opened (about 3-4 mins) stirring now and again. 
5. Stir in the mint and ladle into bowls.

It was so so yum and I converted Joe from being a not really a mussel fan to really really liking them :) 

I also loved that it is cooked in one pot on the stove top as we have a tiny kitchen! The photo below is our whole kitchen!

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