Monday, 7 May 2012

Luke Has Returned!

I almost didn't think it would ever happen, but Luke has returned to the kitchen. He was away from it for so long that I think he may have forgotten where things are kept, but he's back all the same. :)

I love when Luke cooks dinner. I usually cook and he usually does the dishes, but when he cooks and I relax with a glass of wine and put my feet up - I feel very special. 

It's a bit weird though, because I feel much more special when Luke cooks for me than when we go out to dinner. Maybe its because I know everything is being done just for me when Luke cooks, or maybe it's because I love that he shows an interest in what I love doing, I am not sure. All I know is that I feel very special. 

And now I think Luke is going to have to make me feel special more often, because this dish was great!

Spanish Surf and Turf (AKA Mussels Sofrito) 

1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
2 anchovies, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cups fish stock (chicken stock will work too)
1/2 cup Philadelphia Tomato and Basil Cooking Creme
1 pinch each of salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups chorizo sausage, sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups mussels, beards removed
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Start by making a sofrito. Add finely chopped onion and garlic to a frying pan with the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Let them begin to cook down for about 5 minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes. Continue to let the mixture cook another 20-25 minutes at medium low heat, stirring throughout the cooking process.

2. While the sofrito is cooking, fry the chorizo in another smaller pan with the 2 teaspoons olive oil.

3. When onions, garlic, and tomatoes have finished cooking down, add the wine, bay leaf, anchovies (if using), red pepper flakes, cumin, and ginger. Stir to combine and then add the stock.

4. Let the mixture cook about 5 minutes before stirring in the Philadelphia Tomato and Basil Cooking Creme and seasoning with salt and pepper.

5. Stir sauce to combine and add in the mussels. Make sure they are washed, that the beards are removed, that all mussels are firmly shut and without chipped shells.

6. Let the mussels cook until they open, about 5 - 10 minutes at medium heat.

7. When all mussels have opened, remove the pan from the heat, remove the bay leaf from the pan, stir in the chorizo, toss on parsley, and serve. Serve in a pan to eat from as a group or in individual bowls. And serve with bread to mop up the sauce or a scoop of rice to make the meal a little heartier.

Note: If the sauce is too thick, add a little more stock, and if it's too thin, let it cook down for a few extra minutes.

This dish has two names because Luke entered it into a contest with the name Mussels Sofrito. I came up with Spanish Surf and Turf for it, but he thought my name was a bit too tacky.

Which name do you like more? :)

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