Your Life A to Z Recipe: Friday, December 12, 2014: Mussels with White Wine, Chiles, and Mint and Lamb Meatballs by Chef Chris Nicosia

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Mussels with White Wine, Chiles, and Mint    

serves 2        
Fresh black mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded    1#        
olive oil    1 1/2 Tbsp        
garlic, sliced paper thin    2 Tbsp        
Calabrese hot peppers, chopped    2 tsp        
roma tomatoes,halved,  roasted in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, chopped    1 cup        
white wine    3/4 cup        
sea salt    to taste        
fresh mint leaves, torn    1/4 cup        
orange flavored olive oil    2 Tbsp        
ciabbata bread, sliced 1" thick, grilled until toasted    4 slices                                         
            
In a  large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium -high heat.            
Add garlic and chiles and cook just until soft, about 2 minutes            
Add chopped roasted roma tomatoes, season with sea salt, and stir             
Add mussels, and toss to coat            
Add white wine, cover, and cook just until mussels open (about 4 minutes). Discard any unopened mussels
Divide mussels and broth among 2 large bowls            
Scatter with torn mint leaves and drizzle with orange olive oil            
Serve with toasted ciabbata bread to soak up any broth left at the bottom of the bowl.                                        

Lamb Meatballs        
extra virgin olive oil    1/4 cup    
yellow onion, small dice    1 cup    
garlic, chopped    2 Tbsp    
white wine    1/4 cup    
sliced bread    4 slices    
milk    1 1/2 cup    
ground lamb    2#    
currants    1/2 cup    
pine nuts, toasted    1/2 cup    
mint, chiffonade    1/2 cup    
pecorino, grated    1/2 cup    
eggs    1 each    
chile flakes (optional)    1 Tbsp    
salt and pepper    to taste    
          
in a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat        
add onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sweat until soft, about 7 min    
add white wine and reduce         
cool completely        
meanwhile, soak bread in milk until saturated, or overnight        
squeeze excess milk from bread        
combine all ingredients in bowl of mixer and mix on slow speed until just combined    
cook a small meatball in oven and taste for seasoning        
adjust seasoning        
scoop into golf ball sized balls        
roast in 350 degree oven until golden brown        
serve with pasta and spicy tomato sauce        
garnish with pecorino and mint