19 July 2012
Frugally Delicious and 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!
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.
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!