Robert Wiedmaier, executive chef of Mussel Bar, Brasserie Beck, and Marcel’s, shares his recipe for mussels in the shell. There's nothing easier on a busy weeknight than steamed mussels. Warm up some garlic bread to sop up the flavorful broth.
This garlicky, addictive dish is best served with crusty bread or a bowl of pasta. I personally prefer placing pieces of bread at the bottom of my bowl and spooning the sauce and mussels on top. That way, the bread soaks in the flavorful tomato sauce, softening the hard crust to make that perfect balance of crunchy and squishy (in a good way). To make this dish extra garlicky, I roasted garlic while making my sauce and spread it on the toasted bread right before serving.
Who says the French don’t celebrate Thanksgiving? If they live stateside, chances are you’ll find a turkey as the centerpiece of the table come Thanksgiving Day. You might also find a version of this fanciful and playful soup, which takes an iconic ingredient — pumpkin — and gives it some French flair. If you’re using fresh pumpkin, save the shell for serving the soup.
We know: We’ve been dragging out the recipes from our January book writing retreat for a long time now. You’ll be glad to know that this is the last of the lot, our last supper of the trip itself and of those featured on the blog. But the mussels were a wonderful way to end the week. So special even, that we’ve waited until now to share them with you. Though they’re available year-round, making them now, in April, will make them seem like they’re heralding spring in.
We spent very little money at the grocery store that week. Probably because most of what we ate involved spaghetti. But by the last afternoon we were down to our last few shallots, and we had a can of coconut milk still waiting to be used up. We also had half a loaf of No-Knead Bread waiting to be drenched in delicious sauces or slathered with scallion butter.
That last day, we decided to put the book-related brainstorming on hold and take a load off our minds by giving our legs some exercise. Perhaps it was the ocean air, but by the end of our jaunt, both of us were craving seafood, and we were both thinking the same thing: mussels.
Mussels are super cheap, and for but five dollars we added two pounds of them to our dinner table. I got to work chopping the remainder of our garlic, ginger, and shallots, and Cara threw together an Asian-inspired vinaigrette for our salad before taking the aromatics off my hands to sauté. The dish came together in minutes and, save for some slightly stale curry powder, the mussels turned out perfectly creamy, spicy, and satisfying enough to celebrate our last night out of the city. — Phoebe
Serve Mussels Marinara when the weather just starts to turn chilly. It’s sort of like eating a hearty soup with just the right warmth for a fall meal, but it won’t weigh you down. I love sopping up the warm garlic-studded broth with garlic bread – vampires beware!
I don’t know about you, but when I cook mussels or clams at home, the flavor is never big enough and the sauce is never rich enough to justify the effort. This recipe is the solution. The secret is lots of garlic, a good drinkable wine, and — the really unusual touch — breadcrumbs to enrich the sauce. The result is big and bold and, with a side of grilled bread, makes a very satisfying lunch or first course. Though Bastianich prefers the mussels she ate growing up in Italy, she says, "If you get them fresh, they’re just as delicious here."
We had the pleasure of working with Italian cooking authority and cookbook author Julia della Croce at Canal House while photographing her most recent book, Italian Comfort Food. One of the last dishes we prepared together before the shoot was over called for little square cubes of potato. Rather than discarding the trimmings, someone put them into a small tub of water and stuck them in the fridge — the perfect thing to take up room in the cramped space just to be thrown away two weeks later.
A couple of days passed, and looking to make something for lunch, I went rummaging around in the refrigerator and found a bag of fresh mussels. Okay. Steamed open, they’d make a nice meal, but not quite enough to satisfy our hunger. Rooting around some more, I discovered the tub of potato trimmings. What if I added them to the pot with the mussels? How bad could that be?
Well, by now you know the end of the story. Steamed together — the mussel broth soaking into the tender scraps of potato; the potatoes giving body to the flavorful broth —the dish was a revelation, yet obvious in hindsight. No matter. It’s so delicious we now have a hard time preparing steamed mussels any other way. - MH
Adapted from "Canal House Cooking Volume No.5" by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer.
Linguine with clams is a timeless classic that's easy to prepare and delicious any time of year. This Italian pasta dish gets a bit of an update with the addition of mussels and sweet bell peppers, but it still comes together very quickly once all the prep is done.
If you're lucky enough to be in the Acela Club at the New York Met's Citi Field, you're lucky enough to enjoy this elegant dish.This recipe makes it easy to enjoy the luxuries of the Acela Club at home.