This week we have had some wonderful meals using mussels that TB smoked at home.
The mussels came from Fishco Downunder at the Belconnen markets, our favourite place to buy seafood in Canberra. First TB steamed the mussels open, then brined them overnight in the fridge. The brine solution was 100gms of salt, 100gms of sugar to one litre of water.
After the brining TB took the mussels out of the brining solution and put them on a rack in the fridge to dry out. Once dry the mussels went into the smoker for three hours. The mussels were ‘cold smoked’, meaning that the smoke only gave flavour to the food, rather than cooking the food. After smoking we stored the mussels in canola oil in the fridge. They will keep for several weeks this way.
The next bit is where I came in. I consulted my favourite Italian cook , Marcella Hazan, and found a simple recipe for mussel and basil pasta sauce (in her book Cucina). We had all the key ingredients, tomatoes, basil, parsley and onions from our garden; with just the oil and chilli powder from our cupboard.
Wow what wonderful flavour! (Oh when will blogs come with smell and taste included?) This recipe surpassed our expectations and will definitely be on the menu again.