Saturday, June 2, 2007

Mussels in Beer

All week, I'd planned to make a roasted pork loin for dinner. We decided this afternoon to go with something easier (but stay tuned Monday for the pork loin.) I didn't know what dinner WOULD be, but I was hoping for something quick and tasty.

Last night, my friend Liane and I had dinner out (sans boys) at a lovely wine bar in DC. We shared a bowl of Sierra-Nevada-steamed mussels and boy, were they tasty. Knowing that Sierra Nevada is one of my husband's favorite beers, I had to tell him about it and make him jealous. :)

While we were out grocery shopping, he decided that we were having them tonight. I didn't have a recipe in mind, but I had a feeling I could get a head start on the ingredients and hope for the best when I got home to search. I found a promising recipe from Gourmet magazine and set forth. I scrubbed beards and chopped veggies and steamed away. While they aren't exactly like the ones from the restaurant, they were still pretty good.

Recipe calls for lager, but I used pale ale. I also completely forgot to get parsley, and I think that would have helped round the flavors out. All in all, it was a decent pinch-hit of a dinner.

Adapted from:
Mussels in Lager
Gourmet Magazine, March 2005

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes (from a 14- to 15-oz can)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups lager such as Harp (16 oz; pour beer slowly into measuring cup; do not measure foam)
2 lb mussels (preferably cultivated), scrubbed well and beards removed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Accompaniment: crusty bread

Heat butter in a wide 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then cook onion, celery, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes.
Add beer and bring just to a boil. Add mussels and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until mussels open wide, 4 to 6 minutes, transferring them to a bowl as they open. (Discard any mussels that remain unopened after 6 minutes.) Remove pot from heat. Stir together mustard and cream in a small bowl, then add mixture along with parsley to hot broth and whisk until combined. Discard bay leaf. Serve sauce over mussels.

Makes 4 first-course or 2 main-course servings.

No comments: