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.

Barcelona Mussels Recipe-3-poppopcooks.com

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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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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Sliced Steak Aglio e Olio – aka Garlic and Oil

Sliced Steak aglio e olio!? Sounds crazy don’t it? Team it up with some pasta aglio e olio and you have a very quick and easy weeknight meal that is also real good. Like, fancy restaurant good. Did I mention that it’s easy?

Per Wikipedia …”Spaghetti aglio e olio  “spaghetti with garlic and oil” is a traditional Italian pasta dish coming from Naples. The dish is made by lightly sauteeing minced or pressed garlic in olive oil, sometimes with the addition of dried red chili flakes, and tossing with spaghetti. Finely chopped parsley can also be added as a garnish, along with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese, although according to some traditional recipes, cheese should not be added.”

Put a pot of water on for the pasta and add some salt. Add a little more than your gut says because the pasta really needs the salt to get tasty. Add the pasta. Our pasta du jour was linguine but any type would work. Watch it and as soon as the pasta becomes a little pliable swirl it and get it all down into the water.

I did the steak and eggplant slices on a stovetop grill but a skillet would work just as good.

Sliced Steak Aglio e Olio-poppopcooks.com-grilled steak-spaghetti aglio e olio

We had a big New York Strip steak in the freezer but a London broil works just as nice for this weeknight supper.

Put skillet on at low heat with the good extra virgin olive oil and the garlic – slices or chopped – on at low heat. Add a little salt and some red pepper flakes (optional).

When the garlic has started to become translucent – not brown!- the pasta should be done . Using tongs lift the pasta out of it’s water and put it in the skillet with the garlic and oil (aglio e olio). Don’t worry about getting some of the pasta water in the skillet. In fact the water will blend with the olive oil and creat a nice sauce for the pasta.

An instant read meat thermometer is the most accurate way to tell if the steak is done the way that YOU want it. When the steak is ready the eggplant will be too.

NOW! Slice the steak, put the eggplant on the serving plates with the steak slices and add the pasta.

Spoon the aglio e olio over everything and dig in to your Sliced Steak Aglio e Olio.

Sliced Steak Aglio e Olio-3-poppopcooks.com-spaghetti aglio e olio-grilled steak

Chianti of course!!

And some of Poppop’s Eeeeeasy homemade bread to mop up that aglio e olio!

 

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Put a pot of water on for the pasta and add some salt. Add a little more than your gut says because the pasta really needs the salt to get tasty. Add the pasta. Our pasta du jour was linguine but any type would work. Watch it and as soon as the pasta becomes a little pliable swirl it and get it all down into the water.
  2. Put skillet on at low heat with the good extra virgin olive oil and the garlic - slices or chopped - on at low heat. Add a little salt and some red pepper flakes (optional). When the garlic has started to become translucent - not brown!- the pasta should be done . Using tongs lift the pasta out of it's water and put it in the skillet with the garlic and oil (aglio e olio). Don't worry about getting some of the pasta water in the skillet. In fact the water will blend with the olive oil and creat a nice sauce for the pasta.
  3. An instant read meat thermometer is the most accurate way to tell if the steak is done the way that YOU want it. When the steak is ready the eggplant will be too.
  4. NOW! Slice the steak, put the eggplant on the serving plates with the steak slices and add the pasta. Spoon the aglio e olio over everything and dig in!
    Sliced Steak Aglio e Olio-3-poppopcooks.com-spaghetti aglio e olio-grilled steak
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Pan Seared Tuna Steak with Lime and Cilantro

Pan Seared Tuna Steak-5-poppopcooks.com

You will have this Pan Seared Tuna Steak dinner on the table in record time. The  pan seared tuna steak will take one and a half to two and a half minutes a side depending on how rare-  or well done – that YOU want it.

The sautéed spinach is so fast that you have to wait for the tuna to be almost done before you put the spinach in the skillet.

The potatoes take about 5 minutes in the microwave. How is all of that for Quick and Easy?

Lets get started ……

……..If your tuna steaks are frozen you could put them in the fridge in the morning on your way out the door. Or leave them in their individual wrapping and put them in a large bowl with a lot of water. The more water in proportion to the tuna steaks the faster they will defrost.

Or in the microwave on the thawing setting for a couple of minutes.

Put the potatoes in the microwave to “bake” while the rest of your Pan Seared Tuna Steak dinner comes together.

Put a skillet on at low for the spinach with enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom.

Slice or coarsely chop the garlic cloves and add them to the spinach skillet. You are going to let the garlic just get translucent and not get brown. Don’t add the spinach until the tuna steaks are done so if you need to turn off the heat on the garlic to keep it from browning, so be it. You can turn it back on just before you add the spinach.

Put the tuna steaks into a bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, salt, pepper, dill weed and a splash of white wine. Or, you could just go with salt and pepper and squeeze some lime juice on them just before you dig in. That also works okay.

Pan Seared Tuna Steak-poppopcooks-
Pan Seared Tuna Steak

Gently turn them over a few times to get them well covered with all of that good stuff.

Put a skillet on at medium high and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has stopped foaming gently slip in the tuna steaks. The oil and butter will start foaming again but that’s okay. Pour some of the lime juice mixture on them.

Assuming that your tuna steaks are 1″ thick cook them for 1 and 1/2 minutes a side for rare. 2 and 1/2 minutes a side for well done. We like 2 minutes a side and medium rare. If in doubt just use a table fork to open a steak up a little and look at the inside to see how done it is.

Pan Seared Tuna Steak-2-poppopcooks.com
Pan Seared Tuna Steak

Put the spinach in its skillet with the garlic and turn it over a few times as it wilts. When it is as wilted as much as YOU want it add it to the plates.

Squeeze a little lime juice on the tuna steak and the spinach.

Now, serve up and enjoy your Pan Seared Tuna Steak with sautéed spinach and “baked” Potato.

Don’t forget the rest of that white wine. Pinot Grigio goes along real good. 

Pan Seared Tuna Steak-4-poppopcooks.com

 

 

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Tuna steaks pan seared in olive oil and butter with lime and cilantro
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Put the potatoes in the microwave to "bake" while the rest of your Pan Seared Tuna Steak dinner comes together. Put a skillet on at low for the spinach with enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom. Slice or coarsely chop up the garlic cloves and add them to the skillet. You are going to let the garlic just get translucent and not get brown. You are not going to add the spinach until the tuna steaks are done so if you need to turn off the heat on the garlic to keep it from browning, so be it. You can turn it back on just before you add the spinach.
  2. Put the tuna steaks into a bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, salt, pepper, dill weed and a splash of white wine. Or. you could just go with salt and pepper and squeeze some lime juice on them just before you dig in. That also works okay. Gently turn them over a few tames to get them well covered with all of that good stuff.
  3. Put a skillet on at medium high and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has stopped foaming gently slip in the tuna steaks. The oil and butter will start foaming again but that's okay. Pour some of the lime juice mixture on them. Assuming that your tuna steaks are 1" thick cook them for 1 and 1/2 minutes a side for rare. 2 and 1/2 minutes a side for well done. We like 2 minutes a side and medium rare. If in doubt just use a table fork to open a steak up a little and look at the inside to see how done it is.
  4. Put the spinach in its skillet with the garlic and turn it over a few times as it wilts. When it is as wilted as much as YOU want it add it to the plates.
  5. Now, serve up and enjoy your Pan Seared Tuna Steak with sautéed spinach and "baked" Potato.
    Pan Seared Tuna Steak-5-poppopcooks.com
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Baked Chicken Breasts with Hummus – Whole Meal on One Baking Sheet – 30 Min.

baked chicken breasts with hummus-3-poppopcooks.com-chicken breast recipes-gluten free-paleo-quick and easy

Baked Chicken Breasts with Hummus turned out real good,,, and I don’t like hummus!

But, used like this as a light coating on the Baked Chicken Breasts was a nice new twist on our many ways to use chicken breasts for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Gammy likes hummus so, yes, there is always some in the fridge. But I never have or want any of it.

Well, I saw this recipe on Google while looking for new ideas for my blog and made it last night. It resulted in the only time, ever, that I enjoyed hummus.

Plus it’s gluten free and gets a green light for paleo.

Just pick any veggies that won’t cook real quickly and get mushy in the oven i.e. peas, spinach, etc.

Turn the oven on set at 450°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray or wipe it with olive oil.

Cut up the veggies and put them on the baking sheet. Drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and grated parmesan cheese.

Toss it all together with a pair of tongs or just get adventurous and do it by hand. Spread the veggies out flat.

baked chicken breasts with hummus-poppopcooks.com-chicken breast recipes-gluten free-paleo-quick and easy

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and lay them on top of the vegetables. Spread a thin coat of your favorite hummus on top of the chicken then…….

baked chicken breasts with hummus-2-poppopcooks.com-chicken breast recipes-gluten free-paleo-quick and easy

….into the oven it goes. For 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. When they are firm to a finger poke or read at least 170° on a meat thermometer take  the pan out of the oven and serve your Baked Chicken Breasts with Hummus.

baked chicken breasts with hummus-3-poppopcooks.com-chicken breast recipes-gluten free-paleo-quick and easy

We had our go to chianti with this quick and easy weeknight meal and it all was real good. Hummus not withstanding.

 

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Turn the oven on set at 450°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray or wipe it with olive oil. Cut up the veggies and put them on the baking sheet. Drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and grated parmesan cheese. Toss it all together with a pair of tongs or just do it by hand. Spread the veggies out flat.
  2. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and lay them on top of the vegetables. Spread a thin coat of your favorite hummus on top of the chicken then into the oven it goes. For 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. When they are firm to a finger poke or read at least 170° on a meat thermometer take the pan out of the oven and serve your Baked Chicken Breasts with Hummus.
    baked chicken breasts with hummus-3-poppopcooks.com-chicken breast recipes-gluten free-paleo-quick and easy
Recipe Notes

Just pick any veggies that won't cook real quickly and get mushy in the oven i.e. peas, spinach, etc.

 

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