In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seventy-eighth Post ~ Mussels in White Wine and Herb Butter Broth

Blame the dreary weather.  Blame flu season.  Blame the November tendency to burn the candle at both ends.  Whatever the source of blame, I found myself craving the simple, energy-packed joy of a dinner of mussels.

I took my inspiration for parting from my usual wine-and-tomato based sauce from recipes and memoirs from Mireille Guiliano's fantastic books and site.  Seeing as this was a month that ends in "-er" and therefore mussel season, I thought I'd seize the opportunity to revel in this dish cooked with her recommended white wine, butter and herbs.

Here's what you'll need for tonight's dinner:

~ Mussels (I find 15 is a perfect meal for me)
~ White wine (I got a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc by Terra Andina)
~ Garlic (crushed or jarred - I was in a hurry tonight, so jarred it was)
~ Fresh parsley
~ Fresh thyme
~ Scallions (about one full one, from bulb to tips)
~ Butter.  Salted.  Lots of it.  I'm German, not French, anyway.
~ Coarse ground sea salt
~ Crispy baguette (sliced)

In a shallow pan with a well-fitted lid, slosh in about a half inch of white wine and several tabs of butter.  Add all but about 4 inches of scallion and a small handful of chopped parsley with a sprig of thyme.  Add a bit of garlic.  Let it simmer as you wash the mussels.  Add a bit more wine if it starts looking like it's simmering into nonexistence.

Add the mussels and another tab of butter over all.  Slap on the lid and walk away for 4-5 minutes.  In the mean time, slice the baguette and pour your wine.

When the time is up, spoon them out into a bowl with the luscious broth and snip the remaining scallion over the dish.  Grind on some salt.  Savor every last mussel and every last drop of "liqueur."

: : PAUSE : :

I may have gone a little overboard with the scallions.  It made the dish quite oniony.  I LOVED it!!!  It was fresh and zesty and bursting with green flavor.

: : UNPAUSE : :

The wine was a perfect companion.  It was grassy and crisp, but mellow enough to compliment rather than fight the buttery broth.  It tamed the taste of the scallions and brought out the "fresh from the sea" taste of the mussels.

All in all, a very fulfilling, satisfying dish!

Yours in the love of good food and wine,

The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.