Once a month, the Literary Sala in San Miguel de Allende presents two writers who read from their work. This month, on June 13, I read a chapter from my book, Kosher Sutra, and a chapter from my next book, Entertaining Food.
I love doing readings. Really. I could do a reading every week.
After the reading, a group of us walked across the street and had drinks and dinner at Hecho en Mexico, a local restaurant. I was excited about the reading so I had two (!) martinis. After dinner, we piled in the car and drove home.
To continue my celebration, I decided to make a special dinner on Sunday.
We live in the center of Mexico, 64000 feet in the mountains. We are not near an ocean, but due to modern technology, we get fresh seafood flown in twice a week.
I can get fresh clams, mussels, oysters, salmon and various white fish (flounder, grouper, sea bass).
I’ve always considered San Miguel de Allende, where we live, a paradise and now that we can get fresh seafood – great quality seafood, I might add – I know we are in Paradise.
A couple of weeks ago, some friends invited us out with them to dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant here, Café Firenze. We declined because I was going to cook clams in a tomato sauce with grilled bread.
The next day we found out that the restaurant offered a similar dish as a special: Mussels in tomato sauce on a bed of polenta. Everyone raved about it.
So, I had to try making it myself.
Truth be told, I’ve never made polenta. This was a good excuse to try. I bought a kilo (approximately 2 pounds) of mussels on Saturday. I would have preferred clams since I hate cleaning the mussels, but they were sold out.
(This is a very usual occurrence in Mexico. If you see it and want it, buy it. It may be awhile before it appears again. Usually, if I need/want clams for a special dinner, I’ll call the fishmonger and order it. Then I usually get it.)
On Sunday, I made a quick tomato sauce. I just sautéed some garlic in olive oil, added some sliced Spanish chorizo. When the chorizo was cooked, I added a can or two of diced tomatoes, a glug of red wine, and a tablespoon or so of tomato paste. I let it heat up a bit and then added the mussels. I covered the pan and let them cook for ten minutes or so.
In the meantime, I made the polenta, which took me longer than I was expecting. But it was delicious.