Mussels a la Franciscana

By Clair Gu
April 13, 2015
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Author Notes: This recipe is a jam on classic Moules Dijonnaise, done up hipster style. We replace the white wine with a lightly-hopped craft beer, the cream for heirloom tomato, and use red chili in place of dijon for a little heat. Serve this up with a loaf of hot, crusty sourdough or some crunch potato straws to sop up the tasty steaming liquid!Clair Gu

Serves: 4

  • 3 pounds PEI mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cup lightly-hopped craft beer, like Anchor Steam
  • 1 meyer lemon, zested in long strips and juice reserved
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock, room temperature
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 2 yellow or orange heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup italian parsley, chopped
  1. 1. Prepare your steaming liquid base. In a very large saucepan, rondo, or wok (with lids), melt the butter over medium-high heat. As it starts to brown, add the shallot, garlic, chili flakes, and fennel until very fragrant, but not browning (about 2 minutes). Deglaze the pan with the beer and add the lemon zest and salt—allow to boil aggressively for 3 minutes, or until about 1/2 the liquid has boiled out.
  2. 2. Add the mussels. Drop the mussels into the steaming liquid base and give them a good toss. Quickly pour in the chicken stock, add the thyme and the tomato, and bring to an aggressive boil. Cover tightly and allow the mussels to steam for about 4 minutes.
  3. 3. Finish and serve. Remove the lid from the mussels and add the parsley, tossing to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Pour the whole thing into a big bowl to serve.

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