Food Recipes

French Or Italian…? You Decide

I haven’t posted in a little while so my apologies but I have been gathering some good material to share with you so I hope that makes up for the absence. These quick recipes may or may not be a little fusion but I’ll leave that to you. I was feeling like sharing some simple seafood preparations involving oysters and mussels.

It may feel like oysters on the half shell are a summer treat but trust me when I say that winter is actually the best time to eat these ocean treats. Fall and Winter is also a great time to enjoy some comfort food and I strongly believe that a warm bowl of savory mussels fits the bill perfectly! So let’s get down to business with a quick oyster on the half shell appetizer followed by mussels in a white wine butter and fennel broth.

Oysters on the half shell with a sherry vinegar and Italian parsley mignonette.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: ZERO minutes

Special gear required: A shucker, some shaved/crushed ice, a grater

Serves: 2


  • 12 Small cup oysters ie Royal Miyagi or Kushi

    IMG_5404 (2)
    Sherry Vinegar Mignonette
  • 1 Small bunch of Italian parsley
  • 3 TBSP sherry vinegar
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Dash of cracked black pepper
  • Horseradish root


  1. The first thing you want to do is make the mignonette so the flavors have time to get acquainted. Finely chop the shallots and add to the sherry vinegar.
  2. Finely chop the parsley. Throw a pinch into the vinegar and save the rest for the mussels.
  3. Add the black pepper and whisk vigorously. Set aside in a ramekin or small bowl.
  4. Slice the lemon into wedges. Use 2 wedges and save the other two for the mussels.
  5. Grate the horseradish root.
  6. Now it’s time to shuck the oysters. If you’ve never done this before, then check out a you tube video or two and you’ll be a pro in no time. I always like to set the oysters on a bed of shaved ice so they stay fresh while you eat.
  7. Feel free to garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and a spritz of lemon. Spoon a little mignonette on and slurp away!

Mussels in a white wine butter and fennel broth.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Special gear required: A good appetite and a large pan with a lid

Serves: 2


IMG_5407 (2)
The Ocean Kicks A$$
  • 1.5 Lbs of mussels
  • 1 Spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 Small fennel bulb
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1/4 Cup of salted butter
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1 Large garlic clove
  • 1 Dash of cracked black pepper
  • 1 Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 French baguette or bread of choice
  • 400 Ml. of a good Pinot Grigio (better at room temp). Chill the rest of the bottle for later


  1. Wash the mussels.
  2. Slice your bread.
  3. Finely chop the shallot and slice the fennel bulb.
  4. Finely chop or crush the garlic clove.
  5. Melt the butter in a large pan at med high heat.
  6. Once the butter is melted and smelling amazing, add the shallots and fennel and saute until shallots become soft and translucent. Add the salt and pepper.
  7. Break up the sausage into small pieces and add to the pan and keep sauteing until browned. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds but be careful not to burn the garlic because it will become bitter.
  8. Turn the heat up a little and add the white wine. Cook until the booze has burnt off which will fill your kitchen with a buttery smooth smell.  You’ll know what I mean when it happens.
  9. Add the mussels and cover with the lid. The key here is not to overcook the mussels because they will become chewy. Not good…. That is why I like to use the lid which keeps the heat in and minimizes the cooking time. This will take about two minutes and once the mussels have stopped opening, they are cooked.*
  10. Take off the heat, add the chopped parsley, lightly toss and place into a large serving bowl. Serve with bread and lemons on the side.
  11. ENJOY.

*Do not eat any mussels that did not open

IMG_5410 (2)
Nothing Like A Good Wine Pairing!

This is definitely one of my go to mussels recipes and the amount of flavor you will create in less than 30 minutes will leave you and your dinner guest blown away. Now remember you only used 400 ml. of the Pinot Grigio which leaves you enough for two glasses to enjoy with this meal! Lucky you:)

Petey Pabs out…

I'm a hobby cook who loves grabbing inspiration from anywhere I can. Be it a street food vendor half way around the world, or any of the top rated restaurants I have visited right at home. There is something to be learned from anyone who puts passion into their food! I aspire to be in a constant state of learning when it comes to food and culture and I aim to share those learnings with you!

2 comments on “French Or Italian…? You Decide

  1. Cam McIntyre

    Mmm need the Italian sausage


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