Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. In her long-standing capacity as a Newsday columnist, Contributing Editor for Cooking Light, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, restaurant critic, recent columnist for several leading magazines (Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention); regular contributor to many magazines, (including Self, More, Coastal Living, and Relish) and frequent guest on television and radio, Perry is an accessible and authoritative guide for anyone who cooks, eats and travels.

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on her daily Newsday column, Ms. Perry has contributed recipes and text to nearly 20 other food and nutrition books. Her articles have been syndicated internationally in magazines and books, and her recipes have appeared on the Television Food Network and numerous television news segments.

Perry teaches cooking and food writing at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, food writing at mediabistro.com, and is a guest lecturer at the culinary management graduate school at New York University. Her extensive involvement with the food industry ranges from writing and reporting about cooking and nutrition, chefs, restaurants, growers, producers and manufacturers; restaurant reviewing; menu consulting; consumer trend analysis; and volunteering to bring food and cooking/nutrition know-how to those in need. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Libby Hillman Award for Culinary Excellence and the Food Writers’ Symposium scholarship and the Association of Food Journalists Award for Best Food Essay for an ode to her mother and strawberry-frosted cupcakes.

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Grilled Mussels with Tomatoes, Garlic and Parsley

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced

3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered

3 tablespoons butter, cut in bits

1 1/2 cups parsley, chopped

4 pounds mussels

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1. Preheat the grill for direct heat cooking.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it just begins to turn golden, about 45 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the butter and cook until it is just melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.

3. Place the mussels directly on the grill and cook until they open, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

4. Toss the mussels with the tomato-parsley mixture and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 268 calories, 120 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 16 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 520 mg sodium

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Mussels Fra Diavolo

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

6 garlic cloves, minced

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1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup white wine

4 pounds mussels

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1/4 cup parsley

1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes or until somewhat softened. Stir in the oregano, crushed red pepper, tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil.

2. Add mussels, cover and cook, stirring every minute or so, until the mussels have opened, about 4-5 minutes. (Discard any that do not open.) Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 240 calories, 20 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 665 mg sodium

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Coconut Curry Mussels

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons minced ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 cup light coconut milk

1/2 cup white wine

4 pounds mussels

1/2 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons lime juice

1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes until somewhat softened. Stir in the curry paste and cook until it is evenly distributed, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, coconut milk and wine; bring to a boil and stir in the mussels.

2. Cover and cook, stirring every one minute or so, until the mussels open, about 4-5 minutes. (Discard any that do not open.) Stir in the basil and lime juice; serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 280 calories, 19 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 508 mg sodium

TIP: Uncooked mussels should close when the shell is tapped; cooked mussels must open to be edible.