Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Food, Music, Food, Music, Food, Music... Ad Infinitum
Last time out this section got a bit of a grilling (pun intended!) from my fellow veggie blog-friends. Fret not, mis amigos, this time, I've got a beautiful, lovely, delicious veggie recipe for you. This first appeared in the January issue of The Observer Food Supplement under the theme of how to feed four for a tenner. The total of the recipe below amounts to just over four quid. Photograph by Jean Cazals and text by Sam Harris, chef patron of Zucca.
large white onion 1, thinly sliced into rings
olive oil 4 tbsp
garlic 2 cloves, crushed
fresh mussels 200g
medium-sized waxy potatoes 4, thinly sliced
red pepper 1, cut into thin strips
large courgette 1, cut into thin discs
risotto rice 100g
tin of whole tomatoes 1, drained of juice and cut into quarters
Sweat the onion with a pinch of salt in olive oil for 10 mins, then add the garlic and cook for a minute.
Add the mussels and 100ml water, put the lid on and allow the mussels to open up. Remove from the heat, reserve the liquid and take the meat from the shells.
Take a baking dish and in layers place a little of the potatoes at the bottom, then the onions, pepper and courgette. Sprinkle some rice over, add a few pieces of tomatoes, then the mussel meat. Continue doing so until everything is used up.
Pour over the juice the mussels were cooked in, and add 150ml cold water. Cover as tightly as possible and place in an oven heated to 180C/gas mark 4 for 40 mins, until everything is cooked. Rest for 15 minutes and serve.
The mussels opening up in the pan bring to mind slow-burning music (remember Killer Opening Songs last week? Same pattern but non-jazzy). That's why I have enlisted the help of two of the more famous Brazilian singers in the history of that country's rich musical history: Simone and Roberto Carlos. Have you ever met someone after 20 years of not seeing each other? 20 Years. That's the name of this track. Enjoy.
If we talk about layers in cooking, then, I have to mention Beth Hart, because she is a "layered" singer. I love the way this song just keeps building up until around the three-minute mark she hits a high note with her trademark husky growl and then, the way she keeps that high note and just carries on... damn, she's just the "baddest" girl in town. Love me some Beth Hart and her Baddest Blues.
We're going out tonight with a bang. Why did I choose this recipe? Mainly because of the risotto rice. I love the way the rice sucks up the water and cooks ever so slowly. This is what this track does to me. Even though it's a few decades old, it leaves me feeling tender like that risotto rice. Mel Torme's Comin' Home. I defy you to stay quiet.
Next Post: "Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music", to be published on Sunday 22nd February at 10am (GMT)