Monday, December 26, 2011

Flexing Some Mussels

If you're looking for a simple meal that is flavorful but light, mussels cooked in a white wine sauce is an excellent selection. Last week, I had just returned from a trip to Colorado and didn't feel like cooking. My flight home was overnight, and I was tired and a bit cranky, so my wonderful girlfriend treated me to a homemade meal of mussels and fries. My girlfriend is a very good cook, and while she often defers the meal preparation to me, she can handle herself very well in the kitchen. This meal, which looks and tastes great, is a really easy and fast dish that looks impressive and is fun to eat.

You start by cooking your potatoes as they take longer than the mussels to cook. I like to make oven roasted fries as they are easy to prepare, and much healthier than actual french fries. All you need is oil, salt, and pepper, and you'll have delicious crispy fries that are perfect for dipping in the white wine sauce.

For the mussels, all you need are few ingredients to make a really rich and refreshing sauce to compliment the taste of the mussels. The preparation my girlfriend used includes shallot, garlic, white wine, tarragon, clam juice, and dijon mustard. With only these few ingredients, you'll have a briny dipping sauce that works perfectly with the taste of the mussels. The meal was great and exactly what I needed after a long trip home.

2 lbs. fresh mussels
1 shallot chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 cup tarragon, chopped
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup clam juice
1 tablespoon dijon
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 russet potatoes
Salt and pepper

To Cook:
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot on medium and add shallot and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes
  2. Add wine, clam juice and most of the tarragon (reserve some to garnish the dish) and bring to a boil
  3. Once boiling, add the mussels and cover for 4-5 minutes until all shells have opened
  4. Remove mussels from pot, and add mustard, salt, and pepper and reduce, about 5-7 minutes
  5. Pour sauce over the mussels, garnish with remaining tarragon, and serve
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Slice potatoes in thin wedges
  3. Coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper and lay in one layer on baking sheet (use 2 baking sheets if all of the potatoes don't fit in one layer on one)
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the potatoes at 15 until starting to get brown and crispy
  5. Serve with mussels and dip in the wine sauce (it's delicious!)

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