What’s Cooking

I realized that that at no time in this ongoing series have I included a recipe for any of the glorious seafood for which our Island is renowned. Visitors always insist on trying our mussels and Islanders enjoy nothing more than beginning or even making a meal of mussels. And for $2.00-3.00 a pound at the fishmonger’s it’s a cheap but delicious meal.

This recipe is from our friend Grant. He and his partner Stephen have a charming rustic retreat on the Eastern shores of the Northumberland Strait. And should you visit them at Spruce Cottage you might well find a steaming pot of mussels is on the menu.

Spruce Cottage Mussels
From my good friend Grant
Serves 6 as a first course – 4 as a main course
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

5Lb. Fresh PEI Mussels
● 1 Lg. Vidalia Onion
● ½ Red Pepper
● ½ Fennel Bulb
● 1 Lemon – Juice
● 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
● ½ C. Chicken Stock
● ¼ C. Dry White Wine
● 1 Container Store Packaged Fresh Tarragon
● 2 Multigrain Baguettes

1. Wash & debeard mussels as necessary
2. Roughly chop onion, red pepper & fennel.
3. In a large deep stove top pot (w/ lid), stir fry in olive oil over med-high heat.
4. Add chicken stock gradually while stirring.
5. Add wine and continue stirring.
6. Once ingredients are well cooked, add mussels. .
7. Cook covered for 7 minutes over medium heat.
8. Chop tarragon roughly in half and add to the top of the mussels – do not stir.
9. Continue cooking for 3 minutes, covered over medium heat.
10. Remove tarragon from the pot, small pieces may stay.

To Serve*
~ Bring the pot of cooked mussels to the table, uncover and serve with a slotted
~ Top up guests’ bowls with a small ladle of broth, remembering to discard any mussels that have not opened.
~ Allow guests to hand break pieces ofbaguette to accompany the mussels and soakup the incredible broth.
~ Leftover mussels can be used as your base for a great Island Chowder!

*Though Grant doesn’t mention it, I always love a side of homemade french fries with mayonnaise with my mussels.

The word for March 21st is:
Mussels mŭs′əl: [noun]
1.1 Any of various marine bivalve mollusks that attach to hard surfaces in intertidal areas with byssal threads, especially the edible members of the family Mytilidae and in particular Mytilus edulis, a blue-black species of the North Atlantic Ocean, raised commercially for food.
1.2 Any of numerous freshwater bivalve mollusks of the order Unionoida that burrow in the sand or mud of rivers, streams, and ponds.
1.3 Any of several similar bivalve mollusks, such as the zebra mussel.
Alteration (possibly influenced by Dutch mossel) of Middle English muscle, from Old English muscelle, from Medieval Latin mūscula, from Latin mūsculus, sea mussel.

Author: Willym

A senior with the heart of a young'un

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