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Friday, December 21, 2012

CHICHAS WITH RECIPE FOR COOKED MUSSLES


mussel rock
(Mussels' byssal threads in the shell protrude 
to cling to rocks while growing in the sea)
Photo from: LS Lam
[en chichas, a bird that has just come out of its shell], 1. meat in mollusks, oysters, clams and mussels. Throughout Spain and England fish day recipes for these mollusks are innumerable in Christian cookbooks. Shellfish, however, are prohibited by both the Jewish and Islamic faiths. 2. Arag. ration of meat or food consisting of meat and fat. 3. Leon shredded and salted pork roasted on a sheet of metal. 4. Ast. chopped and marinated meat from the slaughter to nibble. 5. Est. meat in general. [Dicc Aragonese. 1992:140; Dicc Asturiana. 2000:293; ES: Cuesta. Dec 1, 03; and Serradilla. 1993:142]

Cleaning mussels
Photo from: Paradigm
COOKED MUSSLES ADAPTED FROM EL LIBRO DE LA FAMILIA[1], ALMEJAS GUISADAS, p 188

3 tbsp lard
1 on
1 garlic clove
¾ c broth, water or white wine
1 k mussels
2 tbsp chopped parsley
½ tsp white pepper
Salt to taste
1 limon sliced in wedges

Preparation

A Recipe to Die For
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Clean the mussels well. Discard any mussels that have opened.

Chop the onion. Melt 2 tbsp lard in a pot over medium heat and add the onion. Mash the garlic. When the onion becomes translucent add the garlic. Let it cook for a minute or two and add the liquid and the mussels.

As they open discard the shell that does not have meat.  Remove byssal threads. Save the water or broth.

Mix a piece of lard with parsley, lard, salt and pepper and dampen this with the broth, water or wine. Let boil for a few minutes. Pour this over the mussels when ready. Squeeze juice from the lemon over the mussels and serve as a hors oeuvre or as a starter during a meal.



[1] The book is so old that it does not list the publisher or a publishing date. The only information given is the owner: Juan Mayans y Sanz. It is known that he lived in Valencia during the 18th Century and that this is a collection of recipes handed down from many generations. The recipe is for clams but in this case mussels were used.

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