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Ron Johnson

Mussels!

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Lesley and Mark,

Thanks for the great recipes. I took the liberty of adding them to the eGullet Recipe Archive under your names. Feel free to edit them, or let me know if you disapprove in any way of what I have done, or wish me to delete them.

Here are the recipes for Moules Casserole and Mussels with Thai Basil and Chiles.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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I have a chef - at school - who was the chef de cuisine at Le Dome - in Paris, at their peak - as well as at the major hotels down in Nice and Monaco - who just made mussels for us the other day - La Mouclade - who says at home he prefers to make them by heating a pot very hot, adding his impeccably fresh and perfectly cleaned mussels - and nothing else - covering, steaming just until they open, turning them out onto a warm platter - carefully pouring out all the juice over.

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So you grab some nice, fresh, clean mussels--wild if at all possible--PEI's okay if not...You sweat a little diced leek and shallot --a little bit of garlic in a pot in a little olive oil. Toss in some roughly diced fresh chorizo--the wet stuff that bleeds all that nice grease and spice into the oil as it begins to cook, when your oil starts to turn red from the sauzeech, add mussels, a good squirt of white wine, a handfull of ripe roma tomato concassee or diced filet....season with salt and pepper. Cover and hit the heat. When mussels are open--remove from flame and quickly swirl in a fat knob of whole unsalted butter (without breaking please). Dump in a bowl, sprinkle heavily with freshly chiffonaded Italian (flat) parsley and eat. Mop up the sauce with a rough hunk of crudely toasted country bread.


abourdain

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The mussels have been great lately around here, so I've been fiddling with a few different approaches, including several here. I've also got a bunch of kroeung in the fridge for an article I'm doing, and 1-2 T added to some thin coconut milk and the usual Khmer aromatics makes a great, if untraditional, base for the little guys.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I tried the winning Top Chef mussel recipe from last week. Wouldn't usually use a recipe but I thought if it was good enough to win the whole dinner challenge it was worth trying. I have to say, eh. I wouldn't use it again. Now I have a lb of cooked mussels leftover that I don't really want to eat as is.


Reb

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Not sure if this meets your "different flavors" criteria, but I find it hard to go past a bowl of mussels steamed in white wine, with parsley and tomato. This is a great dish to mop up with crusty bread. I don't have a recipe, but rather I make sure I use the following ingredients if I have them on hand : olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, pepper, chilli, tomato paste, Turkish sweet pepper paste, white wine, parsley and the mussels. Essentially you steam the mussels in the white wine and serve them covered in the sauce.

Whatever way you cook them - don't overcook them. There is a world of difference between the soft, delicate perfectly cooked mussel meat, and a rubbery, flavorless bit of chewing gum you get with an overcooked mussel.

Good luck and let us know how go.

Luke

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This is one of my favorites.

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Mussels steamed in beer and aromatics, with crusty bread and lemon

Aromatics can be: dried orange peel, fennel seeds, chopped fennel, celery, celery leaves, shallot, onion, leeks and/or ramps.

Very often I use Belgian beer as the steaming liquid -- Ommegang Hennepin preferably. Sometimes Pernod, occasionally ouzo. Sometimes white wine.

I like to keep things simple and focus on the star of the show.

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OK saying out loud:  I WILL check out the local mussels FINALLY at Farmers Market tomorrow. I WILL post! Call me on it.

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9 hours ago, heidih said:

OK saying out loud:  I WILL check out the local mussels FINALLY at Farmers Market tomorrow. I WILL post! Call me on it.

 

Well - the best laid plans. Regular fish vendor who normally has them from platforms just off-shore was not at the market. The only fish guy had them from Baja. Small and he had to sort through the whole bin to find some decent ones. They came in last night. Not sure  if gambling is the way. The racoons may feast tonight.

 

 

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Have never cultivated a taste for mussels. I grew up on the shores of Kentucky Lake, which is absolutely awash in mussels, and is the home of a thriving freshwater pearl industry, but it never occurred to us to eat 'em. 

 

Have often wondered why, since they appear to be along the lines of a freshwater oyster.

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Does anybody eat freshwater shellfish?  I've never heard of that.  In my mind mussels are always saltwater... but I now recall there being things like zebra mussels that have to be fresh water, since they are known for potentially  messing up the outflows at the local nuclear power plant... which clearly outflows into a river, not an ocean.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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No clue. Being relatively ignorant of mussels in general, I assumed they were all freshwater. I don't remember anyone around home eating them.The old folks would tell of going "musselling" for the shells, which were used to make buttons.

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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So a little googling found me this: https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/bb/documents/bb-55.pdf

 

It says they're edible( but not tasty), and long-lived accumulators of environmental pollution... so best avoided.  


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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1 hour ago, cdh said:

Does anybody eat freshwater shellfish?  I've never heard of that. 

 

Only several million.

Shrimp kung pao from Sichuan? Sichuan is land-locked. Freshwater shrimp are everywhere. Even in tiny Britain I ate freshwater shellfish.

 

River snails are THE  speciality where I live.

 

That said, I prefer sea shellfish, but the idea that freshwater shellfish is a no no baffles me.
 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, liuzhou said:


Shrimp kung pao from Sichuan? Sichuan is land-locked. Freshwater shrimp are everywhere. Even in tiny Britain I ate freshwater shellfish.

 

 

So they work in a highly seasoned context... peanuts and dried chiles and such are by no means subtle.  How are they by themselves?


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, cdh said:

 

So they work in a highly seasoned context... peanuts and dried chiles and such are by no means subtle.  How are they by themselves?

 

Sorry. Don't understand the question. What makes you think they only  work in "highly seasoned" contexts?  I gave only one example of a use. Don't extrapolate that into different areas.

They are just fine by themselves with a touch of salt and pepper.  But perhaps your idea of what constitutes high seasoning is different from mine. Please elucidate.


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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Sea mussels are just fine steamed open with only an aromatic broth, e.g. mirepoix + water.  Would you eat your freshwater ones that way?  Sounds like a yes.  Perhaps I'll have to go poking around the local streams and see if I can find any to try for myself.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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And to address my definition of "highly seasoned", I'd consider anything containing sichuan peppercorns and dried chiles and oil highly seasoned.  You don't?


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Freshwater mussels are not the same as saltwater. They look different. And they are endangered. The levels of toxins in fresh water lakes or rivers is killing them and it could make them unsafe to eat. 

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3 hours ago, cdh said:

Does anybody eat freshwater shellfish?  I've never heard of that.  In my mind mussels are always saltwater... but I now recall there being things like zebra mussels that have to be fresh water, since they are known for potentially  messing up the outflows at the local nuclear power plant... which clearly outflows into a river, not an ocean.

If we are including shrimp in the definition, then I would refer you to crawfish.  And they do not need to be highly seasoned, though they often are.

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And it's crawfish season in these parts. I'll be going out to grab a tray or two soon....


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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