Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Les Moules

Hard to beat an early afternoon repast of steamed mussels, crusty bread, and chilled wine with your sweetheart. On a Tuesday no less! That's what schools and babysitters are for.

It's been an interesting day that demanded an interesting lunch. Marty and I each opened Facebook accounts today. I'm no Luddite, but this level of connectivity is little bit frightening...and yet there we were, both of us marveling at the technology and hammering away at our respective laptops, cackling as we tried to out-friend the other. I had to concede when Marty pulled up the profile of one of her poetry pals and there was Cormac McCarthy. Oy! Not only is this poor world flat, it's freakin' tiny.

I had intended to eat the mussels we gathered on Sunday the very next day, but Cinco de Mayo and a lonely bottle of Patron intervened at a neighbor's house. Nevertheless, the mussels kept well in the fridge-o-later, so no problems on that front. Meanwhile the clams are alive and well in the bucket, with no idea that tonight is Vongole Night.

This recipe is so simple it's almost criminal.

Mussels with Wine, Cream & Fresh Thyme

1 lb mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
4-5 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup white wine
several sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup cream
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
seasoning to taste

Saute shallots in olive oil and melted butter until translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute or two. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour in wine and a handful of thyme and bring to boil. Add mussels and cover. When the mussels have all opened (5 or more minutes), stir in cream and serve immediately with white wine and good bread for dipping.


Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

A lovely and classic dish. Our waters are closed until October now for mussels. Wah. Horse clams are next on my hunting list...

Langdon Cook said...

Tell me about horse clams... I think I've found them before. Are they kinda fragile?

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Horse clams are California's answer to geoducks. Smaller, but basically the same clam.

Langdon Cook said...

Here's a brief write-up on this page, about 2/3 down. In Oregon they call them "gapers." I'll be digging these this weekend as part of a wild edibles workshop I'm attending on the Oregon coast. Will report back on the gaper action.