Monday, May 4, 2009

Mithia Ouzata Recipe

by Paul Delios
Everyone thinks “white wine” when deciding how to prepare mussels, but this dish imparts the classic Greek taste of ouzo in a surprising way. Here, mussels are steamed in a savory broth and topped with Feta cheese for a new take on a true New England dish.

Mussel’s freshness tip: Before steaming, toss any mussels that are open. After steaming, toss any that remained closed.

  • 2 lbs. mussels, wild or cultivated, scrubbed of excess grit and “beards”
  • 1 small white onion, sliced in half, then sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely, and one extra left whole and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ cup clam broth
  • ½ cup ouzo
  • ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb. feta cheese, cubed (roughly ½ inch cubes)
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, rough chop
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. In a large sauté pan, toss the white onion, garlic, and the pepper flakes into the oil and brown.
  2. Add mussels and tomatoes, parsley, clam broth and ouzo. Cover, and cook on high heat until the mussels open, anywhere from five to 10 minutes.
  3. After mussels are open, remove them individually with tongs or large spoon; place on serving plate or shallow bowl. Toss all remaining ingredients into the pan liquid with the butter and swirl on low heat until combined. Once hot, pour mixture over plated mussels so that broth fills or partially covers the shells.
  4. Serve with bread of choice for sopping up the broth (even day-old bread works great). For a crisper addition, slice bread, brush with olive oil, rub with garlic and broil until golden.
Wine Pairing:
Greek Wine
2007 Assyrtico, Santo Winery, Santorini
Sug. Retail: $19.99

2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine, Domaine du Rin Dubois
Sug. Retail: $12.99

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