French Classic Bistro Dish of Mussels


2-1/4 lb fresh mussels
3 tablespoons light olive oil or canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup Muscadet or other crisp dry white wine
3 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
French fries and mayonnaise or crusty bread to serve


  1. Tip the mussels into a sink full of cold water and give them a good swirl. Drain off the water, fill up the sink again, and swirl the mussels once more. Discard any mussels that are open.
  2. Using a small, sharp knife, remove the hairy “beards.” Transfer the cleaned mussels to a large bowl of fresh, cold water.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep casserole, add the chopped onion, and cook over low heat for 5 to 6 minutes until beginning to soften.
  4. Stir in the garlic, pour in the wine, then increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  5. Drain the mussels and tip them into the pan. Turn them over in the sauce, cover the pan, and cook over high heat for 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
  6. Remove the lid and check the mussels are open. If not, cover and cook for 1 minute more. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened, then sprinkle over the parsley.
  7. Serve immediately in deep bowls accompanied by fries and mayonnaise (wickedly delicious), or crusty bread.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine

Cajun and Creole-style Rice with Sweet Potato and Shrimp


3/4 cup tomato juice
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1/2 lb okra, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups canned crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
24 fresh or thawed frozen shrimp, shelled and deveined
6 cups cooked, hot white rice


  1. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the tomato juice.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper, okra, and celery and saute until wilted and softened slightly, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and vinegar and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in the sweet potatoes, tomatoes or puree, chili powder, and cayenne and cook until it returns to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender, 15-18 minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the shrimp are pink, about 5 minutes.
  6. To serve, divide the rice among individual bowls. Top each with an equal amount of the gumbo.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Chinese-style Steamed Crab with Black Bean Sauce


1 large fresh crab (about 1 kg)
1 cup chicken stock
handful of green onion julienne

Black Bean Sauce

1/2 red bell pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil
7 green onion stems, cut into 6 cm lengths
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp shredded ginger
3 red chilies, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
1 small red onion, cut in half and then into wedges
2 tablespoons salted black beans
3 tablespoons Shao Hsing wine
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 cup chicken stock
2 red chilies, sliced
2 teaspoons black vinegar


  1. Kill the crab, cut in half and then cut each half into 4 pieces.
  2. Place crab in a shallow heatproof bowl that will fit inside your steamer basket, and cover with chicken stock. Place bowl inside steamer over boiling water and steam, covered, for 7 minutes or until cooked – the crab meat should be white rather than translucent.
  3. Meanwhile, make the black bean and chili sauce. Remove seeds and membranes from bell pepper, cut into strips 1.5 cm wide, then cut each strip into squares.
  4. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok and stir-fry green onion, ginger, garlic, red chilies, onion, black beans and bell pepper for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Pour the Shao Hsing wine around the sides of the wok in a circular motion, then stir in sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil, stock and red chilies. Stir-fry for 3 minutes to allow the ingredients to infuse, creating a rich sauce. Finally, add vinegar and remove from the heat.
  5. Remove crab from steamer and toss with the sauce. Serve on a large platter, garnished with green onion julienne.

Source: Kylie Kwong

Broiled Stuffed Lobster


4 (1-1/4-pound) lobsters, cooked
4 lemon wedges


2 cups crushed reduced-fat round buttery crackers (such as Ritz)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh Parmesan cheese
2-1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Remove the meat from the cooked lobster tail and claws; chop meat. Set lobster tail shells aside.
  3. Combine the lobster and stuffing ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Divide the lobster mixture evenly among tail shells.
  5. Broil the stuffed lobster tails 8 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges.


You can also use 6 frozen lobster tails, cooked, for this recipe, reserving just 4 of the tails to stuff.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Chinese-style Stuffed Black Mushroom


12 large dried black mushrooms
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1/2 chicken stock cube
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
8 oz fresh or frozen broccoli


8 oz raw shrimp
3-1/2 oz fresh or tinned crabmeat
3 water chestnuts
1 tablespoon finely diced pork fat
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground white pepper


  1. Rinse mushrooms in cold water then leave to soak in 2 cups warm water for about 2 hours. Drain. Discard mushroom stems and squeeze mushrooms dry.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and gently fry garlic for about 15 seconds. Raise heat and add mushrooms. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add 1 cup water and stock cube. Simmer very gently for about 1 hour or until mushrooms are tender. Remove mushrooms from cooking liquid and drain.
  3. Thicken cooking liquid with 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with cold water and set this sauce aside.
  4. While mushrooms are simmering, prepare the filling. Peel shrimp, flake crabmeat, and peel the water chestnuts. Put the water chestnuts and pork fat in a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds until a rough paste results. Add shrimp, crabmeat, salt and pepper and process for another few seconds.
  5. When the cooked, drained mushrooms have cooled sufficiently to handle, sprinkle the inside of each cap with a little cornstarch. Press on some of the filling, mounding it slightly. If desired, the mushrooms can now be stored in the refrigerator for several hours and the dish finalised just before the meal.
  6. Put the stuffed mushrooms into heat-proof plate and steam for 20 minutes.
  7. Cook the broccoli until it is just tender. Arrange mushrooms in the centre of a serving platter.
  8. Pour any liquid that has accumulated in the steaming plate into the prepared sauce. Re-heat and pour over the mushrooms. Arrange broccoli around the edge of the serving platter. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a little ground white pepper, and serve immediately.

Source: Singapore Food