Recipe: Mussels in Garlic and Wine
So as you’ve probably guessed, I spend a fair amount of time sucking tube in the form of cooking programs. In truth, I’m something of a whore for TV cooks and will watch almost anything, so long as it involves chopping and stirring, and generally the more outrageous, out-of-control and outré the chef the better. Witness my love for Paula Deen. So out there, so over the top, so Southern — I just cannot get enough, y’all. Similarly, I’ll jack into YouTube and watch Mrs. Child, the Two Fat Ladies or Graham Kerr for hours on end. It’s like crack for me.
Imagine my excitement then, when my pal Joe Hoover over at Londonsurvival introduced me to the manic, magical, utterly soused world of Keith Floyd. Though no longer with us, the great Floyd virtually created the cooking show genre in the UK, or so I gather. Now, if you search on YouTube, you’ll find dozens of fabulous episodes all guaranteed to please. My personal favorite involves our hero preparing ostrich meat and eggs on a brazier in the Outback, surrounded by a gaggle of free-range ostriches, who are apparently oblivious to the cannibalism going on right under their beaks. It’s pure kitchen magic, folks.
But here’s the thing. The guy could actually cook, and most of the time he made it look effortless — and even if it wasn’t effortless, it still looked really fun. So here he is with a lesson in the preparation of mussels. It’s not one of his more outrageous episodes, but it is one of the more instructive. If you have questions about how to choose mussels, or any other seafood, there’s a vintage Slattern post that covers the subject pretty completely.
Hot tip: If you buy farm-raised mussels, they’re much less apt to be sandy and thus are less fiddly to prepare.
To my great surprise, there has been widespread misunderstanding as to my stance on the Secret Treasure Loaf featured in a recent post. For the record, I discovered that particular gem in a search for a truly repulsive recipe (to pair with the most revolting of vegetable dishes, green bean casserole) that would not only turn a foodie’s stomach, but leave deep emotional scars. I believe I succeeded.
Still, the whole experience has left me wondering. If there are people out there who find this appealing, what must they have ingested previously? Is it possible there are worse things than Secret Treasure Loaf, things so vile and stomach-turning that a meatloaf made from Spam and Velveeta APPEALS? The mind reels, the spirit quails, the sphincter puckers. Nonetheless, I’m going there, folks. I am asking the question and as God is my witness, I will address each and every response. Ready?
What is the worst food you have ever been served?
Perhaps it was in your mother’s kitchen during the Atomic Fifties? Or maybe you’re a world traveler who encountered a particularly exotic culinary abomination on the road to wherever. It may be that a recipe mishap was involved, or you simply thought it would be interesting to try tripe. No matter, the more lurid and nauseating, the better.
I’ll go first, and I am really throwing down the gauntlet here. Witness: Velveeta fudge squares by none other than the fabulous Paula Deen. And no, I don’t know what she was smoking.
Talk to me, people. Unburden yourselves. Believe me, you’ll feel better once you get it off your chests. Plus it’ll help me kickstart that New Year’s diet plan I’ve been putting off. Win win!
What is it about Paula Deen? Is it the accent? The hair? The butteranoerl? Maybe it’s the openly unhinged-ness of it all. Witness:
Apparently it’s all the romantical gnawing and the bone sucking.
But then there’s this, girlfriend:
I love her. After about teeyen minits ah staht talkin’ lahk thayat. Reeeel slow lahk.
No kidding, I could watch this stuff for days. I defy you to stop once you get started. Just make sure you trash the Krispy Kremes and deep six the bacon before you open the vein and jack into the matrix, folks.