Better Than Winkles

Moules Maison (Mussels Home-Style) – Jacques Pépin's Table (p. 193)

Since the Midden had jury duty today, the Scotsman and I took control of dinner. We decided to go for mussels, and who better to guide us than Monsieur Pépin? He was dead on with the Seafood Bread, after all.

After a trip to Hubbell and Hudson, we hit the kitchen. The cooking time for this mussel dish is seven minutes, but with all the chopping of veggies and de-bearding of mussels, it took us a wee bit longer.

The mussels simmer in a large skilled with diced plum tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, scallions, and garlic. After getting the chopping out of the way, I started on the sides while the Scotsman worked on cleaning the wee bastards.

A pan of asparagus is always a nice accompaniment. The salad pictured below has a magical secret ingredient that will get nearly anyone to eat their greens: bacon fat. It's arugula and frisée tossed with blue cheese crumbles and bacon. After cooking the bacon, leave the fat in the skillet and whisk in dijon mustard, vinegar, and salt to taste, then pour it on. It makes the arugula wilty and the blue cheese melty. Which is, of course, yummy.

And these amazing Crash Hot Potatoes are courtesy of The Pioneer Woman. The basic idea is to boil small red potatoes until soft, lay them on a olive oil coated pan, smash them with a masher, and drizzle with more olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bake them until brown and crispy. (Seriously, check out her pictures. She is much more talented than this Lass.)

After cleaning the mussels to a pearly shine, the Scotsman let them soak for a wee bit.

We chose the largest skillet in the kitchen and filled it with white wine, olive oil, and Louisiana Hot Sauce, and brought it to a boil.

The mussels went in first, followed by the veggies.

Twas a heaping skillet...and the recipe only called for letting it steam for seven minutes. But we dared not question Monsieur Pépin.

The mussels opening, the veggies cooked...and it was quite a tasty meal! In the end, we agreed that a bit more salt in the broth wouldn't have hurt, along with maybe a touch of butter. But overall, this was a fun meal to prepare and even better to eat!

The Scotsman Says: Three Cuppas