2 pounds mussels (preferably cultivated), cleaned and beards removed
1/2 pound baby spinach, trimmed
Simmer potatoes in enough salted water to cover by 1-inch until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Pat dry and halve (quarter larger potatoes).
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute potatoes with salt, to taste, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
While potatoes are sauteing, cook garlic in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 5 to 6-quart pot over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant.
Stir in mussels and 1/4 cup water and cook, covered, until mussels are opened, 3 to 5 minutes. (Discard any unopened ones.)
Add spinach to potatoes, tossing until just wilted. Serve potatoes and spinach with mussels.
Yield: 2 servings
Olive-Stuffed Chicken with Almonds Recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon 1/4 cup whole almonds with skins 4 boneless chicken breast halves with skin (2 1/4 pounds total) 1 cup brine-cured green olives, such as picholine, pitted and chopped 3 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then toast almonds, stirring often, until a few shades darker, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a cutting board to cool (do not clean skillet).
While almonds are cooking, pat chicken breasts dry, then cut a 2-inch-long horizontal slit in thickest part of each. Stuff each chicken breast with 1 1/2 teaspoons olives, then season with salt and pepper.
Increase heat to moderately high, then add chicken breasts, skin sides down, to butter remaining in skillet and sprinkle with remaining olives. Saute chicken breasts until skins are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn chicken breasts over and cook, covered, over moderate heat until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes more, then transfer with tongs to plates.
While chicken is cooking, chop almonds.
Add remaining tablespoon butter and 3 tablespoons water to skillet and heat, stirring, until butter is melted. Stir in almonds, parsley, and pepper, to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken.