More tasty tapas for your super bowl party

January 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Chef Bruce Aidells has more recipes to whip together for some fast finger food.

Chef Bruce Aidells and his wife, Chef Nancy Oakes, of Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco, have more tasty tapa recipes to share.

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Great Tapas
From Bruce Aidells & Nancy Oakes
Spanish-Style Stuffed Mussels (Adopted from Boulevard The Cookbook by Nancy Oakes & Pamela Mazzola, Ten Speed Press, 2005)

Serves 4

1 cup (¼ -inch) diced good-quality well-textured French bread, such as pain levain or sourdough
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika (pimenton vera)
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup diced Spanish chorizo
½ cup Tomatoes
1 tablespoon julienned fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 thyme sprigs
¾ cup dry white wine
2 pounds large Mediterranean mussels (see Kitchen and Shopping Notes)

Kitchen and shopping notes:
Mediterranean mussels are a large variety (the key word here is large, since they need to be stuffed) cultivated in the Pacific Northwest and available year-round, even during the summer months when other mussels are on the undesirable list (see Sources, page 236). In fact, any large mussel will work in this recipe. If, however, the only mussels you can get are too small to stuff, toss them together in a shallow casserole or baking dish and top with the panzanella, then bake until everything is warmed through.

For the mussels with Panzanella: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the stuffing, toss the diced bread with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium bowl and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Set the bowl aside. Bake, turning with a spatula once or twice, for about 6 minutes. Sprinkle the shallot, garlic, paprika and chorizo over the bread, stir with the spatula, and bake for 4 minutes more, or until the bread is crisp and golden. Return the bread to the bowl, add the tomatoes and the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, and toss until well mixed. Set aside to let the bread cubes absorb the juices.

To cook the mussels, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or saucepan, add the shallot, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the mussels, stirring to coat with the oil, then add the wine. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or just until the mussels have opened, shaking the pan or stirring a couple of times to make sure the mussels cook evenly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a bowl. Discard any unopened mussels. Strain the mussel liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve. The mussels can be cooked up to 1 day ahead, but they should be stuffed no more than 1 hour before you plan to serve them. Stuff the mussels with ½ to 1 teaspoon of the tomato-bread mixture, depending on the size of the mussels, place on a small rimmed baking sheet, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

To serve

Drizzle the mussels with a little olive oil and rewarm in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes. Place mussels on plate with any liquid left in the warming pan. Spoon the sauce around the plates, sprinkle with the basil.

Here is the Mexican Crab Salad Dip:

1 lb. Dungeness crab meat
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 peeled and seeded avocado diced (optional)
1/2 cup mayonaise
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl gently stir together crab, cilantro, jalapeno, greeen onion and optional avocado. In another small bowl wish together mayo and lime juice and scrape over the crab mixture. Lightly toss with a rubber spatula to combine. Serve with tortilla chips or serve as a salad on its own. Makes 4 salad portions or enough for 8 with other appetizers.