Sad, because the project that I’ve poured my heart, soul, time and wallet into for an entire summer, was coming to an end
Happy, because I finished every recipe and didn’t give up! (as if I could!)
Disappointed, because my daily routine of trying new foods, cooking every day and blogging religiously was nearly over.
Gratitude, for Becky’s patience and generous advice, and for all the readers who followed and encouraged.
Curious, Â because I wonder what is next for me to do, and how this project will affect my future endeavors….and I truly believe it will.
Big questions and feelings, and if you have any answers – or offers! – please let me know
Onto the final recipe, which was Mussels with Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage and Saffron Aioli (pg 29) and even after all this time, I managed to bungle a few things yet also learned how to fix one important component. Â Yay for education!
After letting the sliced red cabbage and fennel stew for awhile, I steamed the Penn Cove mussels and set them aside until I was ready to fry them for the final dish. Â As I began removing the mussels from their shells, I realized I had skipped the “de-bearding” process and now had to delicately cut the little knotty piece out of each mussel – ugh. Â That’s what I get for trying to breeze through this final recipe!
Once that was done, I whipped up the saffron aioli – with “whipping” the word that got me in trouble. Â Again, in a rush, I added the oil too quickly to the yolky mixture and the entire thing liquified. Not at all pretty, although it tasted okay, but no way in hell I was going to let that mess be in my final dish photo. Â So I did some quick research on how to fix a broken sauce, and I was amazed to see it actually work (!), thus saving my aioli.
Once the mussels are caramelized with a short flour-dusted fry, they are skewered onto a rosemary stem (nice touch Becky!) and placed upon the warm cabbage, with aioli served on the side. Â While cabbage isn’t my favorite veggie by a long stretch, I enjoyed the blend with fennel, honey, vinegar and rosemary, and it was a crunchy complement to the creamy pan-fried mussels and smooth aioli.
I decided to make my final purchases of the project at my local store, the Edmonds PCC, where they always carry great sustainable seafood choices, and an excellent wine selection. Â April recommend an Albarino for this dish, and ended up with the choice on the right – why describe it myself when they’ve done such a nice job, right??
“Balance is the place where contrasts meet to form alliances, harmonies, counterpoints.”
Becky has taught me so much about balance over this summer project, and she’d be wrong if she thought it was only about the food…cheers to an amazing book, a generous chef/teacher, sustainable West Coast seafood and the stick-to-it-iveness of a wanna-be writer. Â It’s been quite a voyage, thanks for taking the ride with me!
NEXT: A couple posts to come on final lessons, thoughts and reviews from my Sustainable Seafood Summer in Seattle! Â Y’all come back, now ya hear!
NEW HERE?? Quick review of this summer project:
May 30 – Cooking With The Fishes (first post)
June 27 – Time Flies When You Are Cooking Fish (1st quarter report)
July 20 – It’s All Downstream (or is it upstream?) From Here (halftime report)
August 16 – The Dog(fish) Days of Summer (3rd quarter report)