Monday, November 7, 2011

Dinner for under $6 bucks

Quick and inexpensive dinner

If you're feeling tired after a long Monday, why not try making something a bit exotic but really economical, and quick and easy to prepare - mussells and New Zealand cockles.

Warms the "cockles" of your heart

Start to sauté the mussells first - they take a bit longer to cook.

This has to be one of the easiest dishes to prepare on the planet.  Before my cooking trip to the Amali Coast it never occured to me to have mussells for dinner.  I thought you had to boil them and the whole thing struck me as unappetizing.   

As the mussells start to open add the cockles - they cook in no time,

In addition to bein easy to prepare, mussells and cockles are really inexpensive.  Mussells are usually $3 per pound - and a half pound is enough for one serving.  I ask the fish monger to sell me a "handful" of cockles - I get them to make the plate more visually appealing.

Add a bit of white wine and garlic.

To prepare pre-heat a sauté  pan over medium heat.  Add extra virgin olive oil and a pad of butter.  A pad of butter has 36 calories - so one or two won't break the diet and it makes such a difference.  Mince two cloves of butter and add along with the mussells.  When the mussells start to open add the cockles and white wine.  You're done when all of the mussells and cockles have opened - discard any that don't open. 

Whole wheat couscous.

You can serve over pasta or whole wheat couscous as I did.  Couscous is easy, too - just boil 1/4 cup water, adding salt to the water first.  When the water boils, add the 1/4 cup couscous, cover and remove from heat.  Let stand for a few minute until the water has been absorbed.  If you aren't watching your carbs you can just serve the mussells and cockles in the broth and dip with heated bread.

Dinner is served!


1/2 lb mussells
1/4 lb NewZealand cockles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (optional)
2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
1 pad butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup nice white wine (not cooking wine - one that you'd drink)


Pre-heat sauté pan over medium heat
Add oil and butter - swirl around pan till heated
If you're including tomatoes add now
Add garlic - add scapes if in season
Add mussells
When mussells start to open add the cockles (about 2 - 3 minutes
Stir in white wine
When all of the mussells and cockles have opened remove from heat and serve

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