Tag Archives: Summer

Moules à la Marinière

Summer is approaching here in the District, and that means outdoor dining. There is nothing greater than meeting up with friends after work for a drink and a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants that have outdoor patios. I always enjoy good food with good friends on warm summer nights. Of course, I love preparing easy and delicious meals that can be enjoyed indoors or out. One of my favorite recipes that is light but packed with flavor is Moules à la Marinière. In English this dish is translated to mussels steamed in wine and flavorings. It is so simple and doesn’t take long to make, but will impress guests. This dish is also fun to make and eat slowly while sitting on the balcony/rooftop, chatting with friends. If you are feeling ambitious, homemade frites (French fries), go really well with mussels! My version of home cut fries will show up soon. Hopefully you enjoy these mussels as much as I do, and cheers to the start of summer!

moules

Moules à la Marinière

Ingredients:

2 cups dry white wine

1/2 cup minced shallots

1/2 bunch fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/8 teaspoon pepper

6 tablespoons butter

6 quarts mussels, scrubbed, soaked, and debearded

1/2 cup chopped parsley

Directions:

In a large pot or sauté pan with a lid, bring all ingredients but the last two to a boil. Allow the alcohol to evaporate and reduce by boiling for 3 minutes.

Add mussels to the pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Every 30 seconds or so, shake the pot around (while keep the lid tightly on) so the mussels move around and cook evenly. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the shells open*.

Carefully spoon the mussels into large soup bowls, and ladle the remaining liquid over the mussels. Garnish with chopped parsley, serve immediately, and enjoy!

 

*Don’t forget: any mussels that haven’t opened should not be eaten!

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Tabbouleh with Chicken (Or Tofu)

What is Tabbouleh? I bet most of you have no idea what I am even talking about. Well, let me tell you. Tabbouleh is a Levantine (originally from Lebanon) wheat salad. I have traveled to the middle east and have always had many friends from the region, so this is a dish I started enjoying early on. It is super simple, and the light lemony flavor is GREAT for summer time!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1 cup bulgur wheat

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

Olive oil

Kosher salt

1 whole (2 split) chicken breast, bone in, skin on

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)

1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (2 bunches)

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and medium-diced

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the bulgur wheat according to package directions. Add the lemon juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and 1.5 teaspoons of salt to the bulgur as it sits and cooks. Set aside for about an hour to let cook through.

*Next, rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the over for 35 minutes, or until just cooked. Again, set aside and let cool off.

Remove chicken meat and dice into medium pieces and add to the bulgur wheat. Then add scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. At this point, you MUST taste the dish to see if it needs more seasoning! The most important thing when cooking is to taste your food! Make sure it is seasoned to tasted. You can either serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold. The longer the Tabbouleh mixture sits, the flavors will intensify and improve.

 

Cool, refreshing Tabbouleh can be used as a side dish or a main dish. When I know I am cooking for a vegetarian and meat eating audience, I love to use this dish! Follow the same directions, but serve the chicken or tofu on the side and allow guests to help themselves.

*This step is easily replaced with Tofu! Cut extra firm tofu into cubes and sprinkle with the same seasonings. Roast in the oven until crispy and use in place of the chicken.

My interpretation of Ina Garten’s Chicken with Tabbouleh

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