gourmet recipes

gourmet recipes
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Creationdate : 2004-February-04
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Title : TonyAspler.com Gourmet Recipes

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GOURMET RECIPES



Good-Looking Mussels

You know how much we love mussels, so figure the
delight when we first opened The Great Mussel and Clam
Cookbook, a collection of terrific recipes and photographs
from Australia. It's a great read, starting with a fascinating
history and description of mussels, plus some pertinent
nutritional information.

For instance, we had no idea that European mussels have
been cultured since the thirteenth century, and today a
number of species of mussels are farmed globally, the
most common of which is the blue mussel. The authors
give us some technical pictures and statistics, such as that
the growth rate of mussels on long lines will vary
according to density, depth and food availability, and
commercial harvest usually occurs after 1 to 2 years.
There's more, but we suspect, like us, that your thoughts
have drifted towards consumption!









But wait: you need to know that the versatile mussel has less fat and
cholesterol, and more calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron than the
average T-bone steak (ouce for ounce), plus a load of important Omega 3
and 6 fatty acids. If that isn't enough, the Aussie authors go on to say that
the mussel's neat, symmetrical shell and delectable taste embellish a dinner
party with an upmarket ambiance. Now there's a turn of phrase... mussels
simply look good and taste great.

We agree! Guess what we're having for dinner tonight.

On today's menu:


l Mussels Mariniéres
l Pernod Baked Mussels
l Blue Cheese Mussels
l Maltese Mussels



Mussels Mariniéres

The classic method for mussels, it's the
recipe that we use most often. If you're new
to cooking mussels, start with mariniéres; it
will give you the confidence to try all the
rest! The bonus here is that this is the first
step for the Pernod Baked Mussels recipe, which we've included. As Bogart
so famously stated, "This is the start of a beautiful friendship!"

Serves 3–4

l 1 kg mussels, cleaned
l 1 small onion, sliced
l 1 stick of celery, sliced
l 1 clove garlic, chopped
l 55 mL water or white wine
l Pepper
l 1 Tbsp. butter
l 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

1. Place the mussels, onion, celery, garlic and wine in a large

2. Cook over medium heat until the mussels have opened. Stir

frequently to ensure the mussels cook evenly.

3. Add pepper to taste. Stir in the butter and parsley just before

saucepan.

serving.

Accompanying wine? Tony recommends...
A medium-bodied,unoaked, dry white wine – Muscadet, Soave, Chablis,
Aligoté, dry Riesling.


Pernod Baked Mussels

Pernod is one of those sophisticated, anise-
flavoured liquors that can be used so very
effectively – if sparingly – in recipes. Trust
us, it really works, especially here. Once
you've mastered cooking basic mussels
mariniéres (which you'll do in 3 minutes!),
you'll want to move on, and this recipe is a
fine next step!

l 285 mL mussel cooking broth or fish stock, strained
l 1 onion, chopped
l 1 clove garlic, chopped
l 55 mL white wine
l 85 mL heavy cream
l 30 mL Pernod
l Juice of ½ lemon
l Salt and pepper
l 1 kg/2¼ lbs. mussels cleaned, cooked mariniéres style and divided

into half shells

1. Place the broth, onion, garlic and white wine in a pot and cook over

high heat, until reduced to a quarter.
2. Add the cream and reduce again to half.
3. Add the Pernod, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
4. Cover the mussels with the sauce.
5. Heat under the grill for 2 minutes and serve.

Accompanying wine? Tony recommends...
A more substantial dry white wine with oak ageing – Ontario Chardonnay,
white Burgundy, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Blue Cheese Mussels






What a wonderful unexpected combination:
briny sweet mussels and tangy blue cheese.
Toss in some fresh spinach for colour, and
you've got a combination that will wow the
most jaded palate! This is a great starter dish
for any meal... how about following with
that T-bone steak!

Serves 3–4

l 2 Tbsp. olive oil
l 1 onion, chopped
l 1 stick celery, sliced
l ½ stick of leek, sliced
l 1 kg/2¼ lbs. mussels, cleaned
l 100 mL white wine
l 2 oz. blue cheese broken into small pieces
l 1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
l Juice of 1 lemon
l 1 oz. butter
l 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1. Place the oil, onion, celery and leek in a pot and cook for 2 minutes,

stirring frequently.

2. Add the mussels, white wine, blue cheese spinach, lemon juice and

cook until the mussels have opened.

3. Add the butter and parsley, stir and serve.

Accompanying wine? Tony recommends...
A medium-bodied white with good acidity and a touch of sweetness –
Riesling Kabinett, Viognier, Oregon or Alsace Pinot Gris.



Maltese Mussels

We both love fennel, and found this combination unusual and delicious. It's
a rich and hearty dish, a perfect lunch or Sunday night supper with good
friends. Serve with a crisp salad and warm, crusty, wood-fired bread.

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