Mussels & Fries

By • February 9, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Serves 2

  • 2 pounds of mussels
  • fresh fennel bulb
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • 6 oz of a Belgian style ale or wheat beer
  • sea salt & pepper
  • butter
  • fresh thyme
  • lemon
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • oil for frying
  1. When buying mussels make sure they are tightly closed and smelling fresh. Any mussels that are open or cracked, discard. When buying/storing mussels never place into a plastic bag. They will suffocate. Keep them in a colander with ice. They are a living thing and need to be cared for properly or they will die. To clean them use a light brush to remove any excess sand and grit. If the beards haven't been removed, remove them. Mussels cook in no time, and have very little prep. I went with a wheat beer to steam them in, but you could use white wine. The nice thing about mussels is that they are very mild in flavor, nothing too scary for unadventurous seafood eaters. A good measurement to go by; a pound of mussels per person and one potato per person for fries.
  2. Mince shallots and garlic. Shave about a cup of fennel on a mandolin. In a large deep sided saute pan on medium-low heat add a dollop of butter. Melt and add garlic, shallot and fennel. Season with sea salt & pepper. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme and 6 oz's of beer, bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes to start infusing the beer. Add the mussels and cover. Cook for 6-8 minutes until all the mussels have opened. Discard any that have not opened. Place mussels in a bowl and add another dollop of butter to the juice left in the pan. Melt the butter and pour the sauce over top the mussels. Season with a little sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Serve with bread or fries.
  3. For fries, I peeled and cut two idaho potatoes. Using a deep pot, heat oil over medium heat to 350 degrees. Always be careful when frying, its no joke. I fried in oil for 6-8 minutes until crispy and seasoned with salt. Lay down newspaper and make a mess! Fun times.
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