Tonight my Good Lady is on a course. She will be out all evening, and I will be dining alone.
At times like this the temptation is to say "Sod It!" and either stop off in the ready meal section of your nearest supermarket, or reach for a tin of soup or beans from the cupboard.
However, I often indulge myself on nights like these, taking advantage of the chance to have liver or kidneys, pinky brown and eaten with too much mustard and bread to mop up the savoury juices.
Tonight I will make something I have been fancying quietly but would never make dining a deux, mussels with chilli, garlic and ginger.
The dish is simplicity itself:
Take Half a kilo or so of spanking fresh mussels, washed and picked over:
For the veg, chop a bunch of spring onions, an inch of ginger, two chillis and some garlic:
Quickly stir fry the veg in a wok in a tablespoonful of oil, cook for a minute or so, then add the mussels. Cook, stirring for a couple of minutes over a high heat. Add some water, white wine, fish stock, or cider, about two good glasses full. Cook, stirring every so often to move the open mussels to the top. Add a handful of beansprouts, and a sprinkling of sesame oil just to round out the oriental flavours:
Serve simply in a generous, heated bowl, with the deeply savoury juices mingling with the luscious mussels. If you have any booze left, enjoy a glass with your meal. As Saint Delia said, "One is Fun"!