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Ron Johnson

Mussels!

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I am going to make mussels tonight for an app. I am looking for some different flavors. I was thinking maybe ginger, jalapeno, lemongrass, garlic. Does anyone have some tried and true mussel recipes that they really like?

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I was thinking maybe ginger, jalapeno, lemongrass, garlic. Does anyone have some tried and true mussel recipes that they really like?

O bugger. I started to reply to tell you that I steamed mussels with flavors very much like what you describe, but now I can't remember quite what I did. I *think* I steamed them in chicken stock, with ginger, chiles, lemongrass, and cilantro, but I feel like there might have been a touch of vermouth in there somewhere... I tell you, I can't remeber anything anymore. :wacko:

Have you thought about steaming them in gueuze? The belgians seem to love it. I've not tried it, but it's been on my mind so often I know it better than the recipe I have tried: iirc, it's just gueuze, a little chopped celery stalk and leaves, some shallot, and salt and pepper. Serve with glasses of more gueuze.

Of course, a lot of people think gueuze tastes like a fat man's underwear. If you're one of them, this may not be for you. :unsure:


A jumped-up pantry boy who never knew his place.

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I steam them in ginger or good drinking beer with garlic, shallots, fresh herbs and apples (yes apple, they play off great with the natural sweetness of the mussels.) I then finish it off it with some s&p and butter. Have some crusty bread handy to sop up the juice.

I even do them with with roasted garlic, caramelized onions and champagne (my wife's favorite)


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They are very good with coconut milk, along with the oriental flavours you mentioned.

A classic terre et mer is moules, mushrooms and artichoke, with some cream and butter in the liquor.

Anything with saffron. Try a jerusalem artichoke velouté with saffon and dill, or with coconut, coriander and lemon grass.

They are nice in jus de tomate.

Take them off the shell and let them firm up in the fridge while you filter and reduce the liquor. Then warm through in some olive oil.

If eating from the shell, the first shell makes handy tweezers for the rest.

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It doesn't necessarily fit your flavor bill, but I recently made something incredibly good from the Karen Adler book on smoking/grilling fish (can't remember the exact title -- "Fish on the Grill"?) It was smoked mussels: First you steam them open in a broth of 1 cup white wine, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons snipped chives. When they open, put them in an aluminum pan and smoke them (I used indirect coals on the weber, with hickory chunks), for 20 to 30 minutes (no longer, so they don't dry out).

While they smoke, boil 1/2 cup of the wine/lemon juice broth for 3 minutes. Place 3 large egg yolks and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in a blender. With blender running, pour in the hot wine liquid and the melted butter. Recipe calls it "lemon garlic hollandaise," and it was very good as a dipping sauce.

You could probably tweak the broth with lemon grass and ginger.


Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

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Here's a Jean-Georges recipe for curried mussels.  Delicious.

This is a take on La Mouclade. A dish from La Rochelle, on the Atlantic coast of France. The area is famous for its mussels (moules) and a lot of the asian spice trade used to come through the port.

We had a sublime two star version there. It should be quite yellow and I have seen saffron in some recipes. It seem to me that one should make sure there is enough tumeric in the curry blend to take care of the colour.

It is a prime example of French cuisine adopting foreign ingredients at a surprisingly early stage.

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This all sounds great but Ron PMed me so I should try to say something.

Generally I'll do something like steam them with chunks of lemongrass, garlic, galangal and sake; double mesh strain this into hot coconut milk. Then I might buzz this together with a bit of coriander leaves to get an emulsified broth. Reserve some and buzz into a foam. Put a ladle of the broth into a bowl, arrange four or five mussels, spoon a bit of the foam over top, some fresh coriander leaves, perhaps a frizzle of deep-fried leeks.

(I don't mention seasoning because it goes without saying but a sprinkle of good crunch salt on top of each mussel is nice.)

I've done this also with small but thick strips of double-smoked bacon and also with chicken livers put into the shells with the mussels.

ediot:

Reminded by Stone that I forgot to mention chile. Though sometimes I just put a drop of sesame chile oil on each steamed mussel.


Edited by Jinmyo (log)

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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They are very good with coconut milk, along with the oriental flavours you mentioned.

The most consistent mussels I find are at a place in SF called Plouf. Although it's French, they serve one variety mussels in a coconut milk broth. It's basically Tom Kha Mussles. It's so good that when they took it off the menu (because it wasn't authentic French), enough customers complained and they put it back on.

I'd just figure out how to incorporate the mussels into a decent Tom Kha recipe. (But Jin's already explained it.)

By the way -- wont whizzing the coriander turn the broth green?


Edited by Stone (log)

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I do something very similar to Jimmyo's recipe and add a spoonful of Thaik red curry paste to the mix


Ruth Friedman

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Stone, yes. It turns the broth a light green (I don't use too many leaves).


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Many years ago,I was listening to some forgotten food show on the radio,and heard this method of steaming mussels,which turned out to be wonderful;I've used it ever since[the flavoring is up to you-I like 'em simple and plain].Tightly pack mussels,standing up,hinge side down in a heavy pot.Add a little liquid to the bottom of the pot,and simmer,covered, for a few minutes-the mussel juice will wash over themselves,and they will cook in their own juice.Simple and delicious[if the mussels are good to begin with].

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A day late but I just saw Madeline Kamman doing mussels the Normandy way, with apple (as bripastryguy also suggested) but in the liquid form....melt butter, add finely chopped shallots and just stir briefly to coat with butter. Add your mussels and some hard cider for the liquid. Cook until done. Strain. In clean saucepan melt butter, add the strained juices and bring to a boil, adding a couple of tablespoons of Calvados. Take off the heat and whisk in a whopping spoonful of creme fraiche. Arrange mussels on plate and pour broth over.


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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Maybe late, what did you end-up doing?

I was gonna suggest adding 3/4 cup Sambucca to the usual liquid concoction and let it reduce til it becomes syrupy.

Place each mussel on half a shell, and drizzle with syrup. (don't shake pot while mussels are opening)


"I hate people who are not serious about their meals." Oscar Wilde

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Looking to surprise the lady with a great set of mussels (!) Have tried the white wine, the beer and the water approach but need to find that perfect combination that'll sweep her off her feet!! What is the optimal cooking time, where should one NEVER buy mussels in NYC, which sauces would go well with the little mussels?!

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Some excellent suggestions on (edit: this) thread. I'd also suggest simply steaming the mussels and serving them with a variety of dipping sauces. Why choose just one?!


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I learned a technique years ago that yields perfectly cooked mussels.

Heat an empty pan on the stove top until just before the point of no return. Throw in your very clean mussels, 1 cup of your favorite cooking liquid (wine,beer, apple juice, saffron infused chicken stock) some roughly chopped parsely or herbs and one clove of garlic or ginger. Put on the lid and shake pan. This way they all seem to cook quickly and evenly.

Beware though the pan gets very hot. It can warp. I did warp a Calphalon pan this way.


David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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I buy most of my mussels at the Chinese fish market on the south side of Grand Street just west of Christie Street. They're usually in bags from P.E.I. or someplace like that in Canada and you can check the date on the tag. My ultimate mussel dish would be the simple French moules mariniere steamed in white wine, shallots, butter, thyme, bay leaf and parsely and served with a chilled bottle of Muscadet. If there are better versions they don't bring back memories of Brittany for me. The mussels, if not the memories, are actually better in Belgium where they typically add celery to the liquid, but it's the mussels that are better not the broth. Optimun cooking time is probably about five minutes depending on size. I tend to cook them less, but my wife says they are usually underdone.


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I just wrote a story on this and worked with a Belgian chef on these recipes. For great mussels, you need the right pot. Cast iron is too heavy. To be really authentic, you need individual mussel pots, a black, one-serving pot designed to increase the space for shaking during the cooking process. It’s deep, round lid is also ideal for storing the empty shells during the eating process. Look for them in restaurant supply stores.

Moules Casserole

Serves 2

This recipe is written for two individual mussel pots, It can also be doubled or tripled, and you can add ingredients like extra herbs, peppers or cream if desired. Just be sure respect the cooking times and temperatures listed.

2 kg fresh mussels

2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter

2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled

1 branch celery, rinsed

2 medium carrots, peeled and rinsed

The white of 1 leek, washed

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

A handful of fresh parsley, chopped

2 wine glasses (about 400 ml) of dry white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the mussels in cold water and discard any with cracked shells or that are open. Chop the onion, celery, carrots and leek into large pieces (about one inch).

Place a tablespoon of butter and oil in each pot over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam, divide the vegetables and garlic into the two pots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the mussels and half the white wine, cover, and turn the heat to high. Cook for 7-9 minutes (depending on the size of the mussels) shaking gently every so often. Just before the cooking time is up, pour over the remaining wine, sprinkle with chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper, and toss one last time. Keep covered until ready to serve.

Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce

Serves 2

2 tablespoons (30 ml) Dijon mustard

2 tablespoon (30 ml) Mayonnaise (Hellman's works well)

Approximately 2 tablespoon (30 ml) 35% cream

Salt and white pepper

A few spoonfuls cooked mussel juices* (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise and enough cream to soften the consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Just before eating, stir in the mussel juices. Serve with mussels and frites.

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Lesley, is there another term for "mussel pot"? I can't find the product, even on the jbprince.com and bigtray.com sites. Is it also called something like, "Super-Ultra X-Pot with Kung-Fu Grip"?

Thanks for those recipes. I'm rethinking my own dinner for tonight.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Feeling confident that I will woe the day I asked this question, here it goes just the same;

Do I cook the moulles IN the broth or steam 'em ON TOP of the broth?!?! (Don't know why that steaming idea has snuck into the back of my head!)

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These pots make all the difference, and they are totally cool.

When I wrote this article I found two sources for mussel pots, one place in Maine (they mainly sold mussels) and another Belgian cookware shop. The Maine one was black and the Belgian one was stainless steel like the one I found here. They are quite lightweight and have a deep lid, which you flip over and use to store the shells. To find them locally, I called a Belgian restaurant and asked them where they bought theirs.

You get a generous individual serving in each. I'll keep looking for those sites.

The original story is here http://www.canada.com/search/story.aspx?id...73-cbd278b95dbb, but they seem to have ditched the picture of the mussel pot. Too bad the frites recipe is gone as well. :sad:

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My current favorite mussel dish is based on a dish served in several local Thai restaurants.

Mussels with Thai basil and chiles

Ingredients...

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 14 oz tin coconut milk

2 tsps thai green curry paste

1 stem lemon grass, finely chopped

2" fresh ginger, grated

2 red chillies, finely chopped (or LOTS More...)

1½ pints chicken stock

4½ lb mussels, cleaned

2 tbsps fresh lime juice

2 lime leaves, finely sliced

2 handfuls baby spinach or bok choi

2 tbsps fish sauce

12 Thai basil leaves, torn

Cilantro, carrot and tomato for garnish

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Instructions...

Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan. Add half the coconut milk, curry paste and stir to combine. Add the lemongrass, ginger and chilli and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about ten minutes.

Add the mussels, cover with a lid, and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Fold in the rest of the coconut milk,the lime juice, lime leaves, spinach and fish sauce and cook for 3 minutes more.

Finally fold in the basil and discard any mussels that have not fully opened. Serve with plain rice or noodles.

If you want to get fancy with presentation, remove the mussels, open them and remove mussels from shells, then split the shell halves apart. On small serving plates ladle a few ounces of the cooked coconut milk/basil/lemongrass and stock mixture. Take 7 to 9 mussel shell halves and arrange them in a circle on each plate. Place a mussel into each of the shell halves, then ladle some more of the mixture over the top. Garnish with diced tomato, cilantro sprigs and thin matchsticks of fresh carrot.


=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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