Tag Archives: seafood

Black Mussels in White Wine Tomato Sauce with Fresh Baked French Bread

19 Oct

This dish takes me right back to my childhood on the east coast. Growing up in Connecticut so close to the beach we only had the freshest seafood and one of my favorites were Mussels in a tomato Broth with some nice crusty bread to sop it all up! My fish monger had some super fresh black mussels he got in this morning and he hooked it up for Sammy G’s Kitchen!


Heres what ya need:

2 lbs fresh wild Black Mussels

1 1/2 cups white wine (Chardonnay)

5 large tomatoes, diced

French Bread

4 cloves garlic

5 shallots

italian parsley



olive oil



Heres what you do:

1. Clean mussels under cool running water. Scrub algae/ barnacles off with a strong billed brush or small knife. Be sure to remove the beard with knife as well. Discard any with broken shells or any that are open.

2. Melt 2 tbls butter and 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 3, or until shallots are transparent.

3. Add diced tomatoes and white wine, I recommend Chardonnay because it is smooth and buttery, bring to a boil and season with half of your chopped thyme and parsley, s+p and a dash of saffron. Add muscles and give it a gentle stir.


4. Cover pot and cook muscles 8-10 minutes until shells have opened, discard any that do not open after 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook because the muscles will begin to get tough.

5. Add chopped parsley and thyme and give it a stir.

6. Scoop into serving bowls and garnish with parsley and slice fresh baked French Bread.

Bon Appetit!



San Francisco

15 Oct

Industrial, historic, bohemia. San Francisco is just as free, liberated, and revolutionary as the young flower children that danced and popped LSD like popcorn in it’s parks forty years ago. An economically and industrially advanced city that maintains the same attitude as its local inhabitants since the early 50’s.

While San Fran is advancing rapidly like the other major cities in America it has perpetuated its free spirited attitude and has not succumbed to the self-indulgent behaviors like the other yuppy conservative parts of America. San Francisco is constantly doing the things they want and believe are right despite the opinions and thoughts of the rest of the country.

Our trip was off to a good start despite missing our first departing flight from Phoenix – but we made it on another one an hour later and landed safely in San Francisco. We boarded the shuttle to to our hotel and were pleased to find we were the only two riding. We cozied up in the back seat and enjoyed a nice scenic tour of some of San Francisco’s roads less traveled. Forty-five minutes later we arrive feeling re-energized at our hotel. The Hotel Vertigo was fantastic it felt like walking into a chic San Francisco cocktail lounge! Newly renovated and with a modern decor that slightly contradicts the hotels history. It was a popular hotel as far back as the 40’s and was even used in the filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (hence the hotels new name). The hotel was staff was very helpful in getting us checked in and settled into our room.

We got our unpacked and freshened up but our long journey had us feeling hungry. We strolled downstairs and told the concierge we were looking for something in the asian realm. She gave us a few suggestion but ultimately  pointed us in the direction of her favorite Thai spot, Bang San. We feasted on spicy calamari salad and a deliciously fresh Pad Thai.By this time night was beginning to creep in and we decided to take a nice stroll south to Union Station. We watched the various street performers, local crazies, and photo snapping tourists (which I admit we did engage in slightly, just slightly). We gazed in the windows of high end shops and galleries, enjoying the cool San Francisco air and lively atmosphere. We managed to find our way back to our room and relaxed with a bottle of wine as we un-wound from our long day of travels.

The next day we left on foot to explore some of San Francisco. We started by walking through Japantown and then up into Pacific Heights. My girlfriend is a huge fan of Full House and our first stop was to see the house where they filmed it. Easy to spot once we hit the street we stopped and took a few pictures and enjoyed some old childhood memories of sitting in front of the TV watching Full House. Having had only a cup of strong coffee from the cool cafe next to our hotel; Macha Cafe, a very Zen-like cafe that specializes in teas but also serves up strong cups of Joe with locally roasted beans, we were getting hungry and made our way toward a spot that I had heard was known for their magnificent brunches.

The hunger in my stomach grew strong, the hills seemed to get steeper, and the humidity in the air seemed to skyrocket, but I am told this is quite common for San Fran residents. We finally arrived at Ella’s Restaurant only to find it was no longer brunch! Oh no! Quite all right Ella’s serves up fabulous food no matter what meal it is. The waitress was very friendly and talked me

into a glass of their specially brewed ice teas, I believe the flavor that day was an orange currant, delightful. She started us with a basket of freshly cooked artisanal breads served with a house whipped butter, scrumptious. For our main course I ordered the open flame grilled burger that was cooked to perfection and accompanied by a home-made molasses bun and all the fresh locally grown fixins! My girlfriend has the Cobb Salad that was just as equally fresh and delicious. We sat and rested our legs for awhile and enjoyed some nice conversation.

After we fueled our bellies and rested our feet we continued on to the legendary Broadway and Lyon intersection that offers fabulous views of the ocean, piers, and gorgeous flowing San Francisco streets. It is also the entrance to Golden Gate Park and we enjoyed a cool and peaceful stroll along some heavily wooded nature trails.

We strolled down the old town staircase past the morning joggers and took notice of some of the beautiful local artwork and flower garden. An array of painted hearts surrounded by visually striking display of fresh pungent flowers pays homage to the love and acceptance of the city.


Making our way down Union Street we stop for a moment in a local coffee shop, Union Street Coffee Roastery, they roast their own coffee beans daily and pump out one piping strong cup of San Francisco Joe! We sat outside for a moment and enjoyed some local people watching and hot coffee. With my caffeine levels regenerated we headed up Fillmore Street so my girlfriend could enjoy some high end shopping at the local boutiques that line Fillmore. After being dragged through various fitting rooms and small shops filled with over-priced pieces of fabric and string we headed toward Lafayette Park for some sight-seeing and photo-taking. We sat in the park and was directed by a local to check out a very interesting tour of the Haas Lilienthal House. A historic Victorian style home that was built in the 1880’s. It is the only home in that area with such a history. It was passed down through the family since its acquisition over a hundred years ago by wealthy merchants. The house has kept all its antique furniture, fixtures, and artwork and was truly an amazing experience and journey back through time.

Back to the hotel to rest up for the third day of this epic, jam-packed, four-day adventure.