OK, I don't want to excite you too too much because then I fear you will come back and tell me this meal was not as prolific as I made it out to be, but I cooked up one hella meal earlier this month. I wanted to find the perfect way to write about it, to showcase it like an oyster opens to display its pearl, but it wasn't coming to me easily. And then I started having thoughts that I would keep it a secret (the horror!) so that only I would know this combination of plates that delights the palate, but I just couldn't hoard it so. I started having angst and guilt that I was doing everyone a disservice, including myself, burrowing this dinner recipe away, and so here I am. Perhaps I'm being a bit dramatic (you think?), but I really did love this meal.
Beer Steamed Mussels (Matilda beer to be exact)
Note: I learned this recipe while at one of the many Terzo Piano cooking classes I have raved over, and had waited to recreate it at home for a good year. Don't ask me why I waited so long, I really don't have a good reason!
Note 2: Matilda beer is the husband's favorite, so I knew this recipe would have his vote on this fact alone. The dish tastes perfect paired with a Matilda beer - which is good because Matilda is an "investment beer" and meant to be savored.
Note 3: Anyone know if you can find Matilda easily nationwide?
Serves 2 as an entree
1 lb PEI Mussels, rinsed and cleaned
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 orange, zest only
1 bottle (12 oz) Goose Island Matilda, or similar Belgian style beer
1 tspn coriander seed, toasted and crushed
1 tspn chopped tarragon
1 tspn unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Crusty bread for dipping, sliced
Rinse mussels in plenty of cold water. Discard out any shells which are open or cracked. Scrub the outside of the shells with a brush, taking the beards off (for a video demo of this, try here). Drain and set aside until ready to use.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat. After 1 min, add the EVOO. After second min, add the garlic, jalapeno and orange zest. Cook until the garlic begins to toast, about 1-2 min.
Remove the pan from heat and add beer slowly. Return to the heat, add the coriander seed and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the mussels to the mixture and cover. Let them steam just until they have opened, about 2-3 min. Uncover and add the butter. Taste for seasoning and adjust as you'd like.
Place the mussels in a warm bowl with the liquid, and serve with the bread, toasted or grilled if you prefer. Delicious with Pea, Bacon and Pecorino salad below.
Pea, Bacon, and Pecorino Salad