Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why are the best things in life always Bivalves?

Riesling Steamed Mussels, Chobai Sausage, Apricots
I have decided to end the October edition of BOHK with a nice easy going dish. In the next couple weeks, I will be posting some serious dishes that require a lot of focus, skill and time. Not today.
Today, I share my love of Bivalves, and more specifically, mussels. It's almost mandatory as a professional cook to have a sub-conscience border-line infatuation with mussels. I think Anthony Bourdain said it best when he wrote that he could never accept mussels from a stranger. They are best consumed fresh and amongst friends.

They are not on our menu. Rather, I will make an amuse bouche out of them and fight off the other cooks from snatching the whole lot. To cooks, mussels are irresistible. My theory is because they know when they are fresh, they are rustic, cheap, humorlessly simple to make (even properly), slightly off the beaten path, and go well with beer.
This recipe is a big favourite of mine. Usually, on a day off with proper company, it's either Curried Mussels with Stella Beer, or this recipe. ....Or if the season is right, Malpaques with Kressi Vinegar Mignonette (Malpaque Oysters - a good reason to be a proud Canadian).
Riesling Steamed Mussels, Chobai Sausage, Apricots
Yield; 1 Pound of addictive Mussels
1 Tbs. Butter
1 Shallot - Brunoise
1 Crushed Clove of Garlic
1 Chobai Sausage - Brunoise
1 Pound Mussels (rinsed, alive)
7 Sprigs of Thyme Chopped (No Stems Slacker!)
350ml. Riesling (If you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it)
2 Apricots - Concasse
1) Bring a saute pan to Med/High.heat, add the butter and bring to a bubble. Sweat the Shallots, Garlic, and Sausage for 1 minute.
2) Add the mussels and again, sweat for 1 minute until the first of the shells start to open up. Add the Wine, Thyme, and Apricots, use a second equal sized pan to form a cover for 2 minutes to fully cook the mussels.
3) When most are open, taste and check for awesomeness (It's all over the dish).
4) Enjoy with a Baguette, the rest of the bottle of Riesling, and good company (cooks).

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