Chef de cuisine Michael Sindoni says this British preparation is a staple on Againn's menu. Although he bills it as an appetizer to share, plenty of requests to make it an entree come through the kitchen. The crock appears with a hunk of grilled bread -- also the perfect accompaniment when preparing this dish at home, Sindoni says.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced or microplaned garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 pound mussels, preferably from Prince Edward Island, cleaned and beards removed; see NOTE
- 1 cup dry hard cider, such as Magners
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 2 slices rustic or country bread, grilled, for serving
Have a large heatproof serving bowl at hand.
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat until is almost smoking.
Add the oil, garlic, shallot, salt to taste and mussels. Increase the heat to high; toss the contents several times to combine. Let them heat up for several seconds.
Add the cider and cover. Cook for about 1 minute; the mussels should start to open. Cook just until it looks as if all of the mussels have opened, then dump them into the bowl. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
Quickly strain any liquid back into the saute pan; reduce the heat to medium. Whisk in the curry powder, parsley, chives, creme fraiche and salt to taste; as soon as the mixture has heated through, pour over the mussels.
Serve hot, with grilled bread for dunking and discard bowls for the shells.
NOTE: Before cooking, discard any mussels whose shells are cracked or gouged, or ones that do not close when lightly tapped.
Adapted from Michael Sindoni, chef at Againn in Northwest Washington.
Tested by Sarah Meyer Walsh.
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