Prince Edward Mussels – Cooked in a creamy white wine broth

I saw this recipe on another blog…

http://pennydelossantos.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/penn-cove-mussels/

and within 2 days I was calling every market in town to find the freshest mussels. When I see a good recipe I have to try it. It’s like a tick or something. So I guess this is like a commentary on a recipe. Has that been done before? I took snapshots that may help you along the way.

So back to my story, after an hour of searching with store managers thinking I was looking for Ruffles, I finally found them at Bristol Farms for $5.40 a pound. This recipes is for 8lbs of mussels, but for two people 1-1/2 lbs is plenty. 😉

Pam’s Penn Cove Mussels Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Peppers- 1/4 cup each, red and orange diced
  • Medium onion-1/2 cup diced
  • Shallots-1/2 cup chopped
  • Zucchini-1/2 cup diced
  • Carrots-1 finely diced
  • Fennel-2 cups chopped
  • Chives- handful chopped
  • Parsley- handful chopped
  • Oregano-1 teaspoon
  • Tarragon- handful finely chopped
  • Lemon- juice of 1 lemon plus 2 tablespoons of zest
  • White wine-1/4 bottle
  • Cream- 2 cups
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Olive oil-2 tablespoons
  • Butter- 1 tablespoon
  • Pernod-3 tablespoons
  • 8 lbs of mussels

With Sinatra’s “Old Man River,” playing in the background, I began preparing the brew. There are a lot of fresh herbs and vegetable in this recipe. It also calls for a special alcohol Pernod. It is an anisette liquor that I was unable to find, but the fennel bulb and tarragon are strong enough ingredients I thought to carry a similar flavor. I suppose if you had an anisette star on hand you could throw that in too.

Preparation:

Rinse mussels well them soak them in salt water for about half an hour, if any are already open or broken you must NOT use them.

Method:

Saute the vegetables (peppers, onion, shallots, zucchini, carrots, fennel) in olive oil and butter.

Add the herbs, (chives, parsley, oregano, tarragon) and grated lemon zest and about a quarter of a bottle of white wine. Save 1/2 of the parsley for garnish at the end. You could also use white vermouth instead of opening a bottle of white wine as it is sharp, dry and adds a nice tang to the broth. Continue to simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes and add sea salt and pepper to taste. I also squeeze in half of the lemon juice at this point.

You should now have a flavorful broth; I usually add more wine at this point depending on how many pounds of mussels you have.

I like extra broth but a half hour later I realized I dumped the entire bottle of wine in the pot, whoops! Let’s just say it was a little too much broth 😉 We could have made a tasty soup with the leftovers. I never cooked mussels before but it was a fun adventure 🙂

Bring the heat up under the broth and toss in the mussels. Put a lid on the pot and cook briskly until they are all open 5-10 minutes. When they are ready lower heat to simmer and add the cream, grated lemon zest, remaining lemon juice, other half of the parsley and a good slosh of Pernod (3 tablespoons).

Serve in pasta bowls with lots of crusty baguettes to dip in the broth. If you have anybody who cannot have alcohol you can use a good organic fish stock as a substitute. Some of the mussels won’t open after cooking and you must discard them.

All in all, this recipe is perfect for a special occasion with lots of friends to dig in!! If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me 🙂

apassanti@hotmail.com

Bon Appetite!

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