Last weekend we had the pleasure of having our nephew, Jake, come and stay with us for one night. He’s a freshman in college and asked J if he had a bass guitar he could borrow, so I jumped at the chance to reduce our number of basses (I lost count after 20, but to be fair, J is a bassist!) and told Jake to hurry over. Since he lives in the dorms and probably doesn’t get a lot of “real” food, I texted him and asked what he’d like to have for dinner.
Me: Hey Jake, if you could pick anything in the world to eat for dinner, what would you choose? Don’t say “whatever” either!
Jake: My favorite food is seafood, in particular shellfish, and even more in particular, mussels
I realized Jake had inherited J’s “five star” genes. J’s bandmates nicknamed him “five star” because of J’s request to always include champagne on the band’s rider. Anyway, it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting to hear from my teenaged nephew, but I was really happy and excited that dinner wasn’t going to involve chicken fingers, pizza or hot dogs (yes college peeps, I’m stereotyping you, sue me!). I went to Fish King in Glendale and purchased a gorgeous selection of mussels, clams and shrimp for under $18.00- not bad for two adults and one hungry teen, right?
I decided to make seafood pasta, so I got my mise en place ready and got to work. It all came together very quickly- I simply sautéed the garlic and red chili flakes in some olive oil, deglazed the pan with white wine, added the clams first, then the mussels; tossed in some chopped tomatoes, the shrimp, a dash of cream and a fistful of chopped parsley. After tossing the whole thing with al dente spaghetti, it was ready to hit the table!
Jake really enjoyed the seafood pasta, and making it really inspired me to cook mussels more often. The ones from Fish King were particularly plump and flavorful and I could easily polish off an entire bowl armed only with a crusty baguette and some butter…oh, and wine, of course! We always need wine:).
Have you ever gotten any unusual or surprising food requests from the teenagers in your life?