Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Could be better

My original plan for yesterday's dinner was to make soused fish, but when I got to the Pak N Save fish counter, they didn't have what I was looking for. Momentarily flummoxed, I stood near the frozen section trying to remember what other recipes I still had to do. After a few  minutes of distracted consideration (there really isn't anywhere in a supermarket where you can stand and think for a minute without getting in anyone's way) I decided to make seafood sauce (marinara) for pasta (p101).

I picked up some mussels, shrimps and a small fillet of gurnard, and headed for home. Once there, I started on the mussels, giving them a good scrub and pulling off as much beard as I could. I'm really quite glad I won't have any more recipes requiring me to cook mussels: they're not difficult to cook, but preparing them is a nuisance, and frankly, I just don't like them that much!

I placed the mussels in a pan with some chopped onion and a little white wine,  put a lid on it and let it cook till all the mussels opened. Then I took out the mussels and placed my little piece of fish in the cooking liquid instead. It only took a few minutes for the gurnard to cook, during which time I removed the mussels from their shells, got some water boiling for the pasta, and readied the remaining sauce ingredients.

When the gurnard was cooked, I removed it from the pan, and allowed the remaining cooking liquid to sit and simmer. In a separate plan, I combined garlic, canned tomatoes and quite a bit of parsley. This mixture (and the cooking liquid bubbling away in the other pan) was to reduce down a bit before I combined everything to make the sauce, but there didn't seem to be much liquid in the tomatoes, and the watery remnants from the mussels and fish were rapidly evaporating.

Shrugging, I combined the contents of both pans, and stirred in the mussels, fish and shrimps. The sauce looked pretty good in the pan, if a little thick. After allowing a minute or two for the seafood to heat through, I removed the pan from the heat and spooned the sauce over some pasta.

It looked better in the pan than it did on the plate. It also looked better than it tasted. That, of course, is the opinion of a person who's not a huge seafood fan, but I found the sauce was too dry to coat the pasta nicely. There was too much seafood and not enough actual sauce! To be fair, I'd made a rough half-recipe, without paying too close attention to the proper quantities, so a full recipe made with careful attention to detail may well be much nicer.

Adding to the negative aspects of the sauce was the fact that I'd cooked the pasta badly. It was all stuck together and gluey under the sauce, so that didn't help either. So not my best effort this time. By all means give this one a go and see if you can do any better!

1 comment:

  1. It seems the thing to do when cooking pasta sauce is add a couple or so spoons of the pasta liquid to the sauce to make it smooth. I've done that several times and it makes a difference.We had pasta this evening and my sauce was a bit dry too so I just thinned it with pasta water and it was fine.c


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