Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mussels are the best

I finally tried to make something else from my Bouchon cookbook! (See the post about the herb gnocchi) Compared to his other recipes, the mussels are actually pretty low maintenance. I love mussels for dinner parties because a lot of the work can be done ahead of time. I always think of them as being a light dinner but then I use a pound of bread to soak up the amazing broth and end up feeling extremely full...but very happy

Mushroom and Parsley Salad

1 pound button mushrooms, sliced very thinly
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers
1 cup bochaccini (small mozzarella balls)
Sea salt and pepper
Shaved pecorino

Combine the first 7 ingredients and let the mushrooms marinate for roughly 30 minutes. Toss with arugula, top with shaved pecorino and serve.

Mussels with Saffron and Mussels
Recipe from Thomas Kellar’s Bouchon

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup minced shallots
24 cloves garlic confit (see below)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 cups dry white wine
4 pinches saffron threads
4 pounds mussels
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, salt, and white pepper, reduce heat to low, and cook gently for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the mustard and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a minute or two, then add the saffron, cover the pot, and remove from the heat. Let the broth steep for at least 5 minutes. (The broth can be allowed to sit for a few hours at room temperature.)
Rinse the mussels under cold water; scrub them if necessary to clean them. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the mussels have opened. Toss the mussels with the parsley and a few grindings of black pepper. Serve immediately in large shallow bowls, with warm, crusty bread. Makes 4 servings.

Garlic Confit

½ cup peeled garlic cloves (about 24 cloves)

About 2 cups canola oil

Cut off and discard the root ends of the garlic cloves. Place the cloves in a small saucepan and add enough oil to cover them by about 1 inch- none of the garlic cloves should be poking through the oil.

Place the saucepan over very low heat. The cloves should cook gently; small bubbles will come up through the oil, but the bubbles should not break the surface. Cook the garlic for 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the cloves are completely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the garlic to cool in the oil.

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