Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Rosemary mussels

I've had mussels on my mind lately. We went to the aquarium twice last week and have been reading a book about tide pools. Jasper keeps asking about the mussels and cockles. But where to find good mussels? The fish markets in my neighborhood smell funky and I've no idea where and how they get their fish. Other than the Saturday farmer's market there's only one place in Brooklyn I trust: Fish Tales.

Lucky for me Jasper just started a little preschool class in Carroll Gardens, which puts me a quick walk away from Fish Tales twice a week!

Last week we saw this mussels dish made by a Swedish chef (quite different from the one on the Muppets) and it looked tasty. What makes this dish different from the traditional Italian pasta dish with mussels?

The first time I had mussels with pasta was Halloween weekend my first year here. One of my professors took the class to her place in the Hamptons. She and her paramour made a huge pot of garlicky, winey, tomato mussels and I nearly died from deliciousness (there were many such moments my first years in New York). Every autumn I think of that weekend, the mussels, the deeply-tinted hydrangeas, and the strange experience of feeling chilly on a beach.

But back to the Sweedish mussels. As it turns out, they're not much different that I could tell beyond not being served with pasta (serve with bread instead). It does have a distinct flavor since the only herb used is rosemary, so I suppose it is different in that way. Keep in mind, this makes a better first course than main course. It's not terribly filling -- and I doubled the recipe! I also used the last of the season's heirloom tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes and beer instead of white wine (Heineken, so at least it's Northern European, right?). That said, it makes a tasty stew-like dish.

And then it was time to brush our teeth. The things we do for our children... These are the three tubes of toothpaste I recently bought Jasper. We saw Superman at Target and thought it might be fun. But no, too spicy. So I grabbed the second tube later at the Coop, thinking it was the Weleda children's toothpaste. No, and by the way, it tastes yucky. Finally today I got it right and bought the usual fruit-flavored, non-spicy toothpaste in the boring tube. And so you see, Superman is not invincible after all.

Now what do I do with the other tubes?


Tania said...

We have given DOZENS of used-once-only tubes of toothpaste away to families with less fussy children. I can never stand to throw it out, and there are a surprising number of children who will brush their teeth with the cast of whims of my offspring.

Tania said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Co said...

Cool. I've been trying to figure out where you can actually go to get fish in Brooklyn. I should've known to ask you.

Confession. I have never learned how to cook fish. I've caught it, I've cleaned it, and I'm a darn fine shrimp deveiner... but I've never cooked any type of fish myself.

hippittee said...

If you're not otherwise familiar with it, would be a good way to find a home for the toothpaste. The Brooklyn group can be found at

The recipe sounds terrific; unfortunately, I have a texture issue when it comes to most seafood. But as my G'ma would have said, that leaves more for you :-) Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Those mussels sound tasty. I love the scandcook website. We saw Andreas Viestad on tv in Norway and he talks the same way in Norweigan as he does in English. (If you watch the PBS show, you'll know what I mean.) I think I'm gonna have to make those.

Adriana Velez said...

Freecycle -- brilliant, I'll have to try them. I wonder if they'll take all the plastic junk toys I just cleaned out from Jasper's room as well?