Frugally Delicious and Mussels and Fennel in Ale ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

19 July 2012

Frugally Delicious and Mussels and Fennel in Ale

Mussels and Fennel in Ale

A few weeks ago I got a lovely email from Joey at 80 Breakfasts, informing me that I'd won a very exciting blog contest--and lo, my package has now arrived, all the way from the Philippines! What is it what is it what is it what is it what is it?

It's the Frugally Delicious cookbook!

frugally delicious cookbook

This little book focuses on ideas for cooking and eating well on a budget: a skill even the thriftiest of us could use help with from time to time. 55 amazing foodbloggers contributed their dishes to make this project a reality.

Overall, the aesthetic is clean, with minimal line drawings illustrating each chapter heading, and a great variety of recipes hiding behind the charming facade. The compact format makes the book easy to use; just page through, tuck a corner under a cutting board, and get cooking.

I obviously had to make something right away--but what? I decided on the third recipe in the book: The Year in Food's Mussels and Fennel in Ale.

Mussels and Fennel in Ale

Steamed mussels generally look really impressive but take almost no effort or monetary layout, and this version was no exception. The combination of Belgian white (Leffe Blond for us) with fennel and onion created a highly fragrant broth studded with tender shellfish.

The proper way to eat mussels in broth is of course to slurp out the shellfish and then use the shell to scoop up as much broth and veg as possible. Soak up more of the broth with your choice of crusty bread; we had sourdough, which was a perfect match.

These mussels were super easy, fast, and intensely flavorful: an ideal appetizer or quick dinner for those of you who like both shellfish and anise.

Hooray! Thanks again for the cookbook, Joey--I'll definitely be trying out more recipes in the future!


Jes said...

Love the design of that cover! (But I'm a sucker for anything with a The mussels look rad too, mmm fennel!

Cathleen said...

Ooh, yum! I have never made mussels.. I don't even think I've ever eaten them before! I need to try them out!

Kat said...

Looking at this is making me hungry. I usually use white wine with mussels, but I love the thought of putting some leffe blonde (my favorite type of beer) in the broth!!

Joanne said...

I've never cooked much with mussels but I actually have heard that they're quite economical! Sounds like this recipe pairs them with a delicious sauce.

cindy said...

What a cute looking book! The mussels look great too, I have never made them before....but, I love to order them. I love that these have fennel!

Stephanie said...

I love the idea of cooking frugally. My mother in law makes a great mussels dish with chopped tomatoes, garlic, and white wine.

Monet said...

Smile. I actually have a recipe in that book! I have it sitting on my shelf, and I'm going to need to make a recipe myself. Thank you for sharing these delicious looking mussels!

Eileen said...

So glad you guys like it! I too have nearly always made mussels with white wine, or with melted onions and tomatoes--so this was a very tasty & intense change.

And for those of you who have never cooked mussels, but want to--give them a try! They're way easier than you'd think.

Shut Up & Cook said...

Brilliant! Even better because I have a few bulbs of fennel I need to use up..and a dinner party tonight that I wasn't sure what I was going to make. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.