Spring Dinner

It was such a nice day today, it really felt like the first day of spring. Caroline and I were inspired to spend time outside on our day off. We got our garden started (finally) with some herbs, salad greens, tomatoes, and chillis.

The small plants on the right are the ones we planted today. On the left are some pinkeye potatoes that have been going for a while already.

Caroline: Since it was so warm today, we were craving some seafood and some cold beer (and wine).
We got a kilo of mussels (a perfect amount for 2 people) for only $10!

Mussels are delicious, inexpensive, and SO easy to prepare. They’re also really versatile, you can use pretty much whatever veggies you have on hand and stock, beer, or wine for your liquid base. Mussels and beer are a classic match and exactly what we felt like eating tonight. Below is our recipe.

Finely slice a small onion and fry in some olive oil until trasparent.

Add some julienne (finely sliced) carrot, fennel and asparagus and 2 -3 cloves of crushed garlic.

After a few minutes, place the mussels in the pot and pour in about 1/3 of a bottle of beer (lager or the classic belgian witbier works best).Otherwise, you can use dry white wine. ( Also, make sure you have removed the beards from the mussels)

Give them a stir and place the lid on for 8-10 minutes, until the mussels have opened their shells.

Season with some cracked pepper and add finely diced fresh tomato and some flat leaf parsley. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve with some fresh crusty bread and butter.

Caroline: I had a glass of Pooley 2010 Late Harvest Riesling with my mussels. I LOVE late harvest riesling (and Pooley) but it was too sweet for the mussels. A dryer riesling would have worked much better. The sweetness of the late harvest ended up making the mussels taste a bit soapy, so I moved onto to Kris’ beer for the rest of the meal. By itself, the wine was great, so I just enjoyed it by itself as my dessert instead. I think Kris had the better match with beer….

Kris: I opted for Weihenstephaner Original Bayrisch Mild (Helles) Lager from Germany. It was a great match with the mussels.It was an easy drinking lager with slightly sweet, honey malt character and some citrus hop flavour. Nothing too exciting. I do like a dry Pilsner or Belgian Witbier with mussels too.

Caroline: Thanks for dinner Kris.

Kris: No problem tiger.