At least I didn't have to shave a mustache... (FFwD: Mussels w/ Cajun Sausage)
Usually when food has hair on it, that's a bad thing. However, this week's FFwD started with debearding mussels. Mother of Pearl, why???
Now. debearding isn't quite as traumatic as...let's say...spatchcocking, but it was kind of annoying (fortunately, services of The Karate Kid/ Culinary Student were utilized, so I only had to spend HALF as much time pulling smelly hairy stuff off the mussels with cold-numbed fingers - I owe her on this one).
Note to self: next time, just use clams. They don't have beards.
Once I was done being annoyed, the rest was pretty simple.
We had some of this sausage in the freezer which I subbed in since Andouille is not readily available in this neck of the woods. Aaaaannnndddd, I used a whole pound. A half pound seemed kind of wimpy next to four pounds of mussels. Just sayin'
Anyhoo, once we had scrubbed down the pasta, the rest of the dish went very quickly. We went the a'la pasta route and made a meal out of it. After dinner, I fished the rest of the little guys out of their shells; and then I tossed them and the leftover pasta into the sauce. It was lunch for the next three days.
Mussels may be tasty, but they are a pain in the butt. Go for the clams.
To make this dish even quicker - throw shrimp in the end. Skip the shells altogether.
A 5.5 quart Dutch oven is not the right size pot for 4 pounds of mussels. I should have brought out the 9-quarter.
Teenage helpers can be very useful. I highly recommend borrow, begging or stealing one for things like this. (Make sure you give them back, though. Upkeep can be a little steep...)
Don't wear a light colored shirt that you like. Fishing those little guys out of their shells is not for the clean at heart.
Oh, and I used beer instead of wine. The Sam Adams was calling my name...
FFwD members does not share recipes posted, but other bloggers adaptations can be found here and here.
Hope everyone "States-side" has a safe and relaxing holiday weekend - totally loving a Monday off from work in the middle of February. Although, I do remember when I was a child we used to get TWO days off for the President's birthdays... (I am showing my age, aren't I?)