…from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? Here is a dish that dates back eight or nine centuries, maybe without the champagne, however. In the thirteenth century Moules Marinieres was essential when a ship-wrecked Irishman, Patrick Walton, accidentally discovered mussels clinging to the nets that were left out to trap birds and submerged wood piles. Hey when you’re hungry, you’re hungry and the strangest things sound good to eat. So, he picked them up and dropped them into boiling salt water.
It takes only 12–15 months for mussels to reach marketable size (40mm), ready for harvest. Harvesting methods depend on the growing area. Mussels can be grown on wooden poles, harvested by hand or with a hydraulic powered system. For raft and longline culture, a platform is typically lowered under the mussel lines, which are then cut from the system and brought to the surface and dumped into containers on a nearby vessel. After harvest, mussels are typically placed in seawater tanks to rid them of impurities before marketing.
Mussels can be smoked, boiled, steamed, roasted, barbecued or fried in butter or vegetable oil. As with all shellfish, except shrimp, mussels should be checked to ensure they are still alive just before they are cooked.
In Belgium, the Netherlands and France, mussels are consumed with French fries or toasted garlic bread. In Belgium, mussels are sometimes served with fresh herbs and flavorful vegetables in a stock of butter and white wine. A similar style of preparation is commonly found in the Rhineland where mussels are served in restaurants with a side of dark bread. In the Netherlands, mussels are sometimes served fried in batter or breadcrumbs.
In France, the Éclade des Moules, or, locally, Terré de Moules, is a mussel bake that can be found along the beaches of the Bay of Biscay. In Italy, mussels are mixed with other sea food, and are often consumed steam cooked, sometimes with white wine, herbs, and served with the remaining water and some lemon.
In Spain, they are mostly steam cooked, sometimes boiling white wine, onion and herbs, and served with the remaining stock and lemon. They can also be eaten as tigres, a sort of croquette using the mussel meat, shrimp and other pieces of fish in a thick bechamel then breaded and fried in the clean mussel shell. They are used in other dishes such as rice or soups or commonly eaten canned in a pickling brine made of oil, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves and paprika.
In Turkey, mussels are either covered with flour and fried on skewers or filled with rice and served cold and are usually consumed after alcohol (lots of beer). In Ireland they are boiled and seasoned with vinegar. In Cantonese cuisine, mussels are cooked in a broth of garlic and fermented black bean. In New Zealand, they are served in a chili or garlic-based vinaigrette, processed into fritters and fried, or used as the base for a chowder. In Brazil, it is common to see mussels being cooked and served with olive oil, usually accompanied by onion, garlic and other herbs. Wow!
My seriously delicious Champagne-Steamed Mussels recipe is one of the quickest shellfish preparations known to man or woman. I love the flavor of a Champagne-based broth. Bring it to a rapid boil, add the mussels, spices and garlic and cover, cook until they open. Now they’re ready to eat!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2-1/2 cups Champagne or sparkling white
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 pounds cleaned and debearded live mussels
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 slices grilled bread
2 lemon wedges for garnish
ChefSecret: If any of the mussel shells do not open, throw them away.
Quip of the Day: “People are kind of like mussels. You can put them in a pot of boiling water, and some of them will pop open immediately. Some of them will have to float around in the water for a bit, then they'll slowly release. Others never open up at all, no matter what sort of hot water they're in.”
Do you have a question or comment? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. All recipes and cooking tips are posted on our website https://www.perspectives-la.com/covid-19-survival-guide.
To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Take a breath and count your blessings, and if you have a little extra to share with others, please consider donating to Feeding America.
#Entrees #Dinner #Mussels #Champagne #MoulesMarinieres #Seafood #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19 #FeedingAmerica #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup
©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2022
For over 4 decades collaboration and vision have been the cornerstones of our approach to developing innovative solutions. We fuel innovation, uncover opportunities, discover trends and embrace sustainability, turning imaginative ideas into profitable realities.