Steamed Mussels with Tomato-and-Garlic Broth

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cups drained canned tomatoes in thick puree, chopped (from one 28-ounce can)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • Salt, if needed

Directions

  • Step 1In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, tomatoes, thyme, and red-pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Step 2Discard any mussels that have broken shells or that don’t clamp shut when tapped. Add the mussels to the pot. Cover; bring to a boil. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, just until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Remove the open mussels. Continue to boil, uncovering the pot as necessary to remove the mussels as soon as their shells open. Discard any that do not open.
  • Step 3Stir the black pepper into the broth. Taste the broth and, if needed, add salt. Ladle the broth over the mussels and serve with the garlic toast.

Suggested Pairing

Every Mediterranean country has its version of shellfish in a tomato-based broth, and the wine of choice for each is an earthy, full-bodied pink wine. Here, seek out a Lacryma Christi rosé.

Roquefort Soufflés

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus softened butter for the ramekins

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 ounces Roquefort cheese

5 large eggs, separated

2 tablespoons snipped chives

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter four 1-cup ramekins and coat each one with 1 tablespoon of the grated Parmigiano.

Step 2

In a medium saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Add the milk, salt and cayenne and cook, whisking, until very thick and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in the Roquefort and the remaining 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano. Whisk in the egg yolks and chives.

Step 3 In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold the beaten whites into the cheese mixture until no streaks remain. Pour the mixture into the ramekins, filling them three-fourths of the way; set the ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake the soufflés for about 20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Place the soufflés on plates and serve immediately

Bavarian Pot Roast in Dutch Oven with Kartoffelknödel

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless beef chuck pot roast (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Optional: Cornstarch and water

Directions

  • 1. In a Dutch oven, brown roast in hot oil. Combine water, beer, tomato sauce, onion, sugar, vinegar, salt, cinnamon, bay leaf, pepper and ginger. Pour over meat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until meat is tender, 2-1/2-3 hours.
  • 2. Remove meat. Discard bay leaf. If desired, thicken juices with cornstarch and water.
    Freeze option: Place sliced pot roast in freezer containers; top with cooking juices. Cool and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Microwave, covered, on high in a microwave-safe dish until heated through, gently stirring and adding a little broth if necessary.

Deliciously Moist Banana Bread Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 medium bananas (mashed)

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Once fully combined, pour into the butter mixture. Mix until smooth.
  • Mash the bananas with a fork or a potato masher. Fold in the sour cream, walnuts and mashed bananas. Spread the mixture evenly into the greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf).
  • Remove from oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

How to Make Moist Banana Bread

Here are some tips & tricks for making the best banana bread.

  • The bananas have to be over-ripe. When it comes to banana bread, the blacker the peel, the better. These mushy bananas give off a much sweeter flavor, making them perfect for baking banana bread. Previously frozen ripe bananas work great as well!
  • Mash the bananas thoroughly. To do so, you can use a fork, a potato masher or hand mixer. This is particularly important for those who do not like munching on slimy and mushy banana bits. 
  • When combining dry and wet ingredients, fold them very gently with a spatula. This will result in extra tender bread.
  • I know this recipe calls for 60 minutes of cook time, but check it as early as 55 minutes in. You’ll know it’s done when you see some moist bread sticking to your tester toothpick. Remove from the oven right away!
  • Pecans are great, but walnuts also go really well with banana bread. The hint of bitterness in these nuts gives a nice balance to the sweetness of the banana.
  • Make sure to take the banana bread out of the loaf pan as soon as possible, about 10 minutes after it’s out of the oven. Don’t leave it in there for too long – doing so will result in a soggy bottom.

How to Store Banana Bread

Even when you follow all the recipe tips mentioned above, banana bread tends to dry out when storing it overnight.

Here are some storage tips to keep your banana bread moist and delicious:

  • Allow your bread to cool on a wire rack or a plate before refrigerating it.
  • Slice your bread in thick and even slices. Eat to your heart’s content. 
  • In the unlikely event of leftovers, pack the remaining slices in plastic wrap while it’s still a little warm. This will prevent it from going dry. Tin foils and airtight containers also work well at preserving the quality of the bread. Make sure that it is wrapped nice and tightly.
  • Place the wrapped slices inside a freezer bag. Press the bag to get rid of excess air, and gently close the seal completely.