Not Your Average College Food

Drunken Mussels

When I was studying in Europe a few years ago, I was introduced to so many new and delicious dishes (along with truly unique dining experiences). One thing that I fell in love with immediately was mussels drenched in flavorful broth. I even remember the exact restaurant in Copenhagen where I became obsessed with them. Little did I know how easy it was to make such a complex-looking dish on your own.

These drunken mussels are made with garlic, shallot, and white wine. My favorite part is dunking some crusty bread into the soup to sop up all the delicious flavors. The recipe takes less than half an hour to make and barely any work, aka a perfect recipe to impress your friends, family, or someone special 😛

For many students, cooking mussels may be intimidating because seafood is typically expensive and not many people have ever tried to cook mussels. Rest assured because mussels are relatively cheap (about $5/lb) and they take only several minutes to be cooked. One thing to note when dealing with mussels is how to clean debeard them. Serious Eats gives a great tutorial on how to shop for and clean mussels.

Drunken Mussels
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
612 calories
43 g
151 g
25 g
47 g
12 g
306 g
915 g
2 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
306g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 612
Calories from Fat 224
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g
39%
Saturated Fat 12g
61%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 151mg
50%
Sodium 915mg
38%
Total Carbohydrates 43g
14%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 2g
Protein 47g
Vitamin A
24%
Vitamin C
60%
Calcium
11%
Iron
74%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  2. 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  3. 2 tsp garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
  5. 1 1/2 lb mussels, cleaned and debearded
  6. 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  7. 1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
  8. pinch salt and pepper
  9. 1 lemon, cut into slices
  10. Optional: 1/2 loaf French bread, sliced
Instructions
  1. Add butter to a large pot on medium heat.
  2. Once the butter has melted, add shallots and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the wine and increase the heat to high. Once boiling, add the mussels and cover with lid. Let the mussels cook until they open (about 3 minutes).
  4. Remove lid and add cream. Reduce heat to medium and stir. Cook for another 2 minutes letting the liquid reduce.
  5. Top with parsley, salt and pepper.
  6. Squeeze lemon juice on top before serving.
  7. Optional: Lightly saute both sides of the sliced bread pieces on a medium pan with olive oil.
beta
calories
612
fat
25g
protein
47g
carbs
43g
more
Not Your Average College Food http://notyouraveragecollegefood.com/

Balsamic Bruschetta

One of my favorite scenes from Julie and Julia, which I have watched about a million times now, is when Julie is making bruschetta for her and her husband. I love watching the French bread sizzling in the pan and her husband’s reaction to how delicious it is. Unlike many of the rich, buttery French dishes that are made in the movie, bruchetta is a light and healthy Italian appetizer.

Bruschetta, although from Italy, reminds me of pan con tomate, a popular Spanish tapa (originally from the Catalonia region). Last summer when I was living in Spain, I ate a looot of pan con tomate, which is just toasted bread with tomato pulp and drizzled olive oil on top. During our daily snack break at work, my coworkers would all order pan con tomate, which was a simple, yet delicious snack. Bruschetta is different in that it uses diced tomatoes instead of tomato pulp. The tomatoes are also tossed with olive oil, basil, garlic, and parmesan cheese.

For this bruschetta, I used heirloom tomatoes – some were dark purple and some bright red. Just adding a little bit of garlic and basil made it so flavorful, but I also used balsamic vinegar to give it a little kick. This yummy appetizer can be whipped up in 15 minutes and doesn’t require any cooking. It is a perfect snack for a hot summer day or hors d’oeuvre for a dinner party.

Balsamic Bruschetta
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
47 calories
4 g
4 g
3 g
2 g
1 g
73 g
102 g
2 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
73g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 47
Calories from Fat 22
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
4%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 4mg
1%
Sodium 102mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 4g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
11%
Vitamin C
15%
Calcium
6%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  2. 5 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  5. 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  6. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  7. pinch of salt
  8. pinch of pepper
  9. 1/2 loaf French or Italian bread, cut into slices
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, toss all of the ingredients except the bread together.
  2. In a medium pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat. Toast bread slices on both sides until golden brown.
  3. Top bread with tomato mixture.
Adapted from All Recipes
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calories
47
fat
3g
protein
2g
carbs
4g
more
Adapted from All Recipes
Not Your Average College Food http://notyouraveragecollegefood.com/

Salmorejo

This summer I spent 2 wonderful months in the north of Spain where I was doing research on the Mediterranean diet. While I learned about the Mediterranean diet and its many benefits through my work, the best and most delicious way I learned was through eating…a lot. For two months, I happily feasted on the finest jamón (ham), tortilla de patata (Spanish potato omelette), and pintxos (small tapas). The hardest part was getting used to the late meal times – lunch at 2 pm and dinner at 9 pm!

Some of the most striking differences I observed between the Mediterranean diet and the American diet were 1) very generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil, 2) an abundance of fruits and vegetables, 3) less red meat, and 4) smaller portion sizes. I noticed that there were little stores that only sold fruits and vegetables located on almost every street corner. In the little neighborhood I stayed in, there were 4 of these stores in less than 10 minute walking distance! In Spain, people love to take their time to eat with friends and family. Meals can last for hours, until midnight even! At work, unlike in the US where many people have sad desk lunches, co-workers take the time to eat together and socialize. The Mediterranean diet isn’t just about the food, it’s also about the lifestyle. During my time there, I was lucky enough to try many unique Spanish foods such as Basque cuisine, croquetas, San Jacobos, and one of my favorites, salmorejo.

Most people have heard of the famous Spanish chilled tomato-based soup called gazpacho. It is from the south of Spain (Andalucia) where it gets very, very hot during the summer. However, many people haven’t heard of salmorejo, which is also a chilled tomato-based soup from southern Spain (Cordoba). Salmorejo is thicker and creamier compared to gazpacho, mostly because of the addition of stale bread. Another difference is that salmorejo is usually topped with hard boiled egg and ham. I prefer salmorejo because of the creamy texture; it is absolutely perfect in the summer!

Salmorejo
Serves 4
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Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
435 calories
22 g
155 g
33 g
15 g
5 g
367 g
403 g
9 g
0 g
26 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
367g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 435
Calories from Fat 292
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g
51%
Saturated Fat 5g
27%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 22g
Cholesterol 155mg
52%
Sodium 403mg
17%
Total Carbohydrates 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber 4g
17%
Sugars 9g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
49%
Vitamin C
57%
Calcium
8%
Iron
14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 8 plum tomatoes
  2. 1 clove garlic
  3. 1/4 small onion
  4. 2 tbsp sherry vinegar (or cider vinegar)
  5. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
  7. salt and pepper
  8. 3 slices stale whole-wheat bread
  9. 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  10. Iberian ham, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Core and seed tomatoes and then chop into quarters. Some recipe use tomatoes without the skin but I left them on.
  2. Add tomatoes, garlic, onion, sherry vinegar, olive oil, chili powder and salt and pepper into a blender.
  3. Purée until smooth. Then start adding pieces of the bread and blending until it gets to a creamy, thick consistency.
  4. Pour into bowls and top with chopped eggs and ham (I left out the ham for a vegetarian dish).
Adapted from Saveur
beta
calories
435
fat
33g
protein
15g
carbs
22g
more
Adapted from Saveur
Not Your Average College Food http://notyouraveragecollegefood.com/