Mussels, Bubbles & Prawns Night by Chef and the City

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Chef and the city hosted a Mussels, Bubbles & Prawns night yesterday. It was an evening full of unlimited prawns, mussels and homemade fries. The event took place at Room 66, which used to be a small restaurant. The location matched perfectly with the concept. Small and cozy, where you could just serve yourself and have a casual evening with friends.  We were welcomed with fresh oysters and cocktails. Not a bad way to start a Thursday night, if you ask me.

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As the theme was unlimited food, it just kept on coming. The nice smell was impossible to pass, as I couldn’t help myself and had another serving every time a new platter full of freshly made mussels would arrive at the bar.

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Chef and the city is an interactive catering company owned by Aleksandra Polski, where if you choose to, you can also learn new culinary skills such as making sushi or decorating cupcakes. She will most likely be hosting similar events like the Mussels, Bubbles & Prawns night. You can check her Facebook page to keep up to date for future events.

Happy Friday guys!

Spaghetti Alle Vongole

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This is one of my favorite pasta dishes and an Italian classic. I hardly ever order it at a restaurant just because it takes no effort to make at home. It is prepared in about 15 minutes. By the time the pasta is cooked, the vongole is ready and you just have to combine it all.

As cravings go with me, most of the times they don’t disappear like they do for my hubby. They keep hunting me until I satisfy them. A couple of years ago, we were in Italy on holiday. On our last dinner there, I saw this dish on the menu and all of the sudden I had to have it. Unluckily for me, they were sold out! As soon as we were back home, I went to get some vongole and made the dish at home.

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I’ve been craving vongole lately so I have made this dish 3 times in the past month. If you are not familiar with cooking vongole, make sure that the shells are not open when you buy it. You’ll discard of the ones that are open, so you want to get your money’s worth. I like to squeeze some lemon juice in the end, even though it is traditionally not added. I made it last on a Saturday in which after running errands all day, I didn’t feel like spending much time cooking. It was gone in less than 5 minutes. Yes, I eat very fast!

This recipe serves 2.

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Ingredients:

500gr of Vongole

2 cloves of garlic, minced

14 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

½ bunch of parsley, chopped

250ml white wine

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

260gr of spaghetti

Chili flakes to taste

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Juice of 1 lemon (optional)

 

Rinse the vongole under cold water for a couple of minutes. Discard of any that are open and don’t close when you tap them.

Mince the garlic, cut the cherry tomatoes in half and chop the parsley.

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil to a large pan with a lid. Over medium heat, add the garlic and tomatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the vongole and the white wine. Cover with the lid and let it cook till the vongole start to open, about 4 minutes. Stir. Discard of any that haven’t opened. Turn the heat off.

By this time the pasta should already be done. Add the drained pasta to the pan with the vongole. Add salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste. Then add the lemon juice and parsley. Stir until everything is combined. Serve right away.

 

Classic Steamed Mussels

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Mussels bathed in butter, garlic and white wine. Yum! And the fact that dinner can be ready in about 15 minutes makes it an easy recipe for a weekday. This recipe serves 2, half a kilo of mussels per person. When we are really hungry, I just double the recipe for the 2 of us.

Ingredients:

1 kilo of mussels, cleaned

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 cup of dry white wine

4 tomatoes diced

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into pieces

½ bunch of fresh parsley, chopped

Juice of one lemon

 

Rinse the mussels well under cold water, pulling off any beards. Discard any mussels that are broken or that don’t clamp shut when tapped.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over low heat. Add the shallots, celery and garlic. Move occasionally and cook until the shallots are translucent.

Increase the heat to medium-high.

Add the mussels, the wine and season with salt. Cover and let it simmer for about 2 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes, parsley and butter. Give it a stir, cover and let it cook until the mussels have opened wide (about 5 minutes). Add the lemon juice and taste the broth, add salt if needed. Serve with Garlic bread or fries.