Barcelona Mussels Recipe – A Keeper – 25 Minutes

Barcelona Mussels Recipe-5-poppopcooks.com

Barcelona Mussels Recipe – It was 1959 and I was in the Coast Guard on a ship headed from Brooklyn to Naples. After 7 days at sea we had gone through the Straits of Gibraltar and docked in Barcelona, Spain.

Some of us were given liberty and didn’t have to report back until muster the following morning. I had made friends with a few of the crew that were my age and rank so we teamed up and hit the streets.

The first thing that we did was to find an exchange and got Spanish money to fund our adventures. I held out a ten dollar bill to the guy at the counter and he looked at me like I was nuts. I indicated “yeah” and was given more Spanish cash than I had pockets for. I wound up stashing some in my socks and even in my underwear. I still had some leftover even after all of our shenanigans.

One of the guys was portuguese from Newark and another was puerto rican from Manhattan. They were our interpreters,, kinda.

We did everything that young sailors would be expected to do, and more, after a week at sea. But, back to the Barcelona mussels recipe.

We went to this local restaurant that was just opening up for the evening. As soon as they saw us they got an “oh shit” look on their faces and started pushing some tables together for us.

We sat down and while we were trying to understand the menu the waiter – without asking – poured us all some red wine. Wow, it was good!

Then he came back with our “tapas” aka appetizer. It was this Barcelona Mussels Recipe and, again, wow, IT was good too! They served it in a big bowl with a couple of big spoons. We each were given our own small soup bowls to get our share.

And, a big plate of hot crusty bread for dipping.

I made it the other night and of course it reminded me of my visit to Barcelona and I started recounting it again for Gammy.

She rolled her eyes and said, “Jack, I’ve heard all about that already.”

Anyway, here goes.

About the mussels. We can’t get any good fresh ones here in the Austin area so we just go with these cleaned, cooked and frozen ones that are found in the local grocery store.

Barcelona Mussels Recipe-2-poppopcooks.com

Put a skillet that is big enough to handle the mussels on at medium heat. Swirl in enough extra virgin olive oil to cover all of the bottom.

Add the chopped onion and stir to get it spread out and stir it a few more times as it cooks.

When the onion has become translucent – about 5 minutes – add the chopped garlic and cook for just a minute or so. Don’t let the garlic get brown. Then the tomatoes, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika and red wine (or white wine or chicken broth).

Mix it all together, turn the heat up to medium high and bring it up to a simmer,

When the the liquids have reduced a little put in the mussels. Stir everything together and stir again a few times as the mussels heat up – about 6-8 minutes. If you are using fresh mussels just cook them until they open up and throw away any that don’t open.

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In Spain it is almost always served with rice and sometimes with pasta. The Italian in me kicked in and I opted for some pasta with mine and some spinach and tomato salad with feta cheese and a little loaf of Poppop’s easy homemade bread for dipping and some Spanish Tempranillo red wine.

Barcelona Mussels Recipe-5-poppopcooks.com

Altogether we had a super, quick and easy  weeknight dinner with this Barcelona Mussels Recipe.

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Put a skillet that is big enough to handle the mussels on at medium heat. Swirl in enough extra virgin olive oil to cover all of the bottom. Add the chopped onion and stir to get it spread out and stir it a few more times as it cooks. When the onion has become translucent - about 5 minutes - add the chopped garlic and cook for just a minute or so. Don't let the garlic get brown. Then the tomatoes, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika and red wine (or white wine or chicken broth). Mix it all together, turn the heat up to medium high and bring it up to a simmer,
  2. When the the liquids have reduced a little put in the mussels. Stir everything together and stir again a few times as the mussels heat up - about 6-8 minutes. If you are using fresh mussels just cook them until they open up and throw away any that don't open.
  3. In Spain it is almost always served with rice and sometimes with pasta. The Italian in me kicked in and I opted for some pasta with mine and some spinach and tomato salad with feta cheese and a little loaf of Poppop's easy homemade bread for dipping and some Spanish Tempranillo red wine.
    Barcelona Mussels Recipe-5-poppopcooks.com
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Caramelized Pearl Onions

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Caramelized Pearl Onions are a regular whenever we have company over and for years I bought the little bunches of them, trying to get as close as possible to getting them all the same size. Then cutting the ends off and peeling them. It was a pain but it was worth it. They ARE good! Then a while back I stumbled upon frozen pearl onions and gave them a try. Wow, the finished product is just as good and they are a lot closer to being uniform in size. We had our son, John, our daughter-in-law Whitney and our two precious granddaughters, Caitlyn and Peyton over for Sunday dinner.

That’s Caitlyn on the left cutting up the mozzarella for the chicken parmesan and eggplant parmesan we had for dinner. That’s Peyton in the middle. She’s  in charge, just ask her. I’m just totally enjoying my time with my cute grand babies.

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Oh, back to the Caramelized Pearl Onions! Thaw out a bag of frozen pearl onions. Drain out the liquid and pat them dry with paper towels.

Caramelized Pearl Onions1 poppopcooks.com

 

Put a skillet on that is big enough to handle the onions all spread out and not piled up. Did I say that right? Set it at medium low and add 4 tbsp.of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions and sprinkle 1 level tbsp. salt and 1/2 tbsp. pepper all over them.

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Let them cook slowly, tossing every couple of minutes. The slower they cook the sweeter and tastier they will be. It will take about 25-30 minutes for them to be caramelized. When they are a golden color taste one. I bet you can’t stop at just one. If they look good and taste good they are ready. Some people add water,  white wine and /or various herbs but in my opinion there is no need to add to or embellish the great taste of the simply caramelized onions. I’ve tried other added stuff and have always come back to just onions, EVO, salt and pepper. You can’t beat it.

Caramelized Pearl Onions poppopcooks.com

This is the pair of Calphalon pans that I use every time I get dinner ready. They are the best I’ve ever worked with. Real easy to use and clean.


They went over real good, ,,again. The only reason there are a few left is that the main course was on the table and Gammy said, “GET IN HERE, SIT DOWN AND STOP IT WITH THE ONIONS”.

Caramelized Pearl Onions3 poppopcooks.com

 

 

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Course appetizer
Cuisine Pop pop's Stuff
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course appetizer
Cuisine Pop pop's Stuff
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Thaw out a bag of frozen pearl onions. Drain out the liquid and pat them dry with paper towels. Put a skillet that is big enough to handle the onions all spread out and not piled up. Did I say that right? Set it at medium low and add 4 tbsp.of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions and sprinkle 1 level tbsp. salt and 1/2 tbsp. pepper all over them.
  2. Let them cook slowly, tossing every couple of minutes. The slower they cook the sweeter and tastier they will be. It will take about 25-30 minutes for them to be caramelized. When they are a golden color taste one. I bet you can't stop at just one. If they look good and taste good they are ready.
    Caramelized Pearl Onions poppopcooks.com
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Frittatas for People on the Go

I can't eat just one.

Gammy makes these and they are great! When your running a little late in the morning but your real tired of “energy” bars this is great. You know what, it’s great even when you’re not in a rush.

 

Ready for the pans
All the Frittata ingredients

Heat oven to 350F. Mist 2 muffin pans (12 cups each) with cooking spray. Cook the bacon until it is as crispy as you want it. Break it up into about 1/2 inch pieces and set aside. In a large skillet at medium high heat add the oil and let it heat up. Add the onions, peppers, mushrooms and asparagus. Stir them together and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk and basil until it is all mixed up real good. Stir in the the bacon, cheese and all the rest of the veggies.

Frittata Mixture
Frittatas ready for the oven.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are firm. Not like a rock and not like mushy. Just firm.

I can't eat just one.
Um Um good!

Of course you are going to have to have one or two as soon as they’ve cooled off enough to handle. If there are any left put them in a zippy bag and in the freezer. Then when you are in your morning mode and in a rush to get going put 1 or 2 in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and nosh on it as you leave to face your day.

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Gammy's Frittata recipe.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Mist 2 muffin pans (12 cups each) with cooking spray. Cook the bacon until it is as crispy as you want it. Break it up into about 1/2 inch pieces and set aside. In a large skillet at medium high heat add the oil and let it heat up. Add the onions, peppers, mushrooms and asparagus. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Stir them together and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk and basil until it is all mixed up real good. Stir in the the bacon, cheese and all the rest of the veggies.
  2. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are firm. Not like a rock and not like mushy. Just firm.
  3. Of course you are going to have to have one or two as soon as they've cooled off enough to handle. If there are any left put them in a zippy bag and in the freezer.
  4. Then when your in your morning mode and in a rush to get going put 1 or 2 in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and nosh on it as you leave to face your day.
    I can't eat just one.
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Tossed Chicken Caprese Salad

We love Caprese Salad and tonight we had half of a leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge so it became Tossed Chicken Caprese Salad. Gammy has to eat gluten free so it fit just fine.

IMG_2510Instead of the usual sliced style you could go for tossed so it could accommodate the chicken easier. So, cut up the chicken, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil and that extra red stuff that you see in the pic is roasted red peppers. Yeah, I made a batch yesterday and we like them a lot so, what the hell?

IMG_2512Put it all together, drizzle some good extra virgin olive oil, basalmic vinegar, a pinch of salt.

 

IMG_2513Top it off with a few “unchopped” basil leaves and some grated parmesan cheese. It was real good  and it was totally gluten free for Gammy.

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Tossed Chicken Caprese Salad is a is a real good twist on regular Caprese Salad. you'll like it and it is very easy.
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
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Instructions
  1. Instead of the usual sliced style you could go for tossed so it could accommodate the chicken easier. So, cut up the chicken, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil and that extra red stuff that you see in the pic is roasted red peppers. Yeah, I made a batch yesterday and we like them a lot so, what the hell?
  2. Put it all together, drizzle some good extra virgin olive oil, basalmic vinegar, a pinch of salt. Top it off with a few "unchopped" basil leaves and some grated parmesan cheese.
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