Recipe: Mussels with White Wine & Tomato

~ This is Day 75 ~

I get asked how to make this quite often from friends and family so I’m just going to write this really quickly. This is my favorite way to make mussels and clams. The best part after the mussels/clams? The bread dunking into the rich broth and into your mouth part.

  • 2 lbs mussels
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes (or substitute one 14 oz. can diced tomatoes)
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • ¼ cup butter (optional)
  • ½ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon

Finely chop the onion and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Dice your tomatoes if using fresh ones. Finely chop your parsley, reserve some for garnish.

Scrub the mussels and toss out the dead/damaged ones. If they’re open and don’t close when you poke them, they’re bad. Remove the beards if they have them. Set aside.

In a large pot with lid, heat up enough olive oil to almost cover base of pot. Sweat onions and garlic until aromatic and tender. Add in diced tomatoes and thyme. Season a little with salt, turn heat to medium. Cook for 2 minutes, then add in the tomato paste and cook that out, 3-5 minutes. Add the butter if adding and let the butter emulsify with everything. Once butter has melted, add in the mussels. Turn heat to high, season with salt and black pepper, and add the white wine. Cover with lid, mussels are ready once they open completely, 5-7 minutes. Before you take them out and off the heat, add in most of your chopped parsley and the juice of half a lemon, stir to combine well. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Once in a bowl, add the remaining parsley on top as garnish. Serve with toasted bread. I always eat it with ciabatta. Any bread will suffice, pick your favorite!

*For clams, I like to add bacon and hot paprika to this.

Recipe: Gougères

Gougères are essentially cream puffs without the cream and instead with cheese. They are the savory version of the pâte à choux. The cheese is commonly grated Gruyère, Comté, or Emmentaler. I used Gruyère in this.

In culinary school, I had to mix this by hand and that was exhausting. I have a stand mixer at home so making the choux was a piece of cake!

This recipe yields around 50 pieces.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 oz. butter
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups Gruyère, and extra for garnishing
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with SilPats or parchment paper, oiling them is not necessary. In a saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter, and salt, and bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. Stir over low heat until the dough dries out and pulls away from the pan, approximately 2 minutes.

Scrape the dough into a bowl of a stand mixer. Let it cool for a few minutes before beating in the eggs. On “stir”, using the paddle attachment, beat the eggs into the dough, one at a time, and beating thoroughly between each one. It is important to be sure that each egg is fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next. Don’t worry if the batter separates and looks curdled at first. Keep beating, and it will come together nicely. Add the cheese and season with black pepper, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip and pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets. Sprinkle more cheese on top of each one and bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve hot/warm. I stuff them with duxelles, which is a finely chopped mixture of mushroom (chanterelles).

Recipe: Coffee Soil

I totally forgot that I have already featured coffee soil in my other posts. I mostly use coffee soil for ice creams and desserts but it could also be used for savory dishes. I also use decaffeinated coffee beans for this recipe.

  • 9 oz. sugar
  • 3 ½ oz. cocoa powder
  • 3 oz. finely ground coffee
  • ½ oz. salt
  • 5 oz. butter, melted

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl or KitchenAid stand mixer, pour in the melted butter and thoroughly mix to combine. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour. Let it cool and crumble either with fingers or in a food processor.

Sample dishes:

Recipe: Sweet Pea Soup

I was meaning to post this recipe but life got caught in the way. Anyway, whenever spring comes, I love the harvest of fresh English peas. Having said that, I also dislike eating peas in their pea form, which is why I love making sweet pea soup.

  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 lbs fresh English peas, shelled
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, chopped
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 55 g crème fraîche

Melt unsalted butter, then add onion and celery, and sweat until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock and potato, and raise the heat until it reaches a boil.

Cook the mixture until potatoes are done, add in the peas and bring to a boil. Cook until peas are tender, about 2 minutes.

Have a colander ready to strain mixture, making sure to reserve the liquid. Add solids to VitaMix and some liquid to adjust for consistency as its blending. Finish with crème fraîche and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Once fully blended and smooth, chill over an ice bath to preserve its green color.

Sample dishes:

Recipe: Corn Purée

In the culinary world, we make a lot of purées and it’s basically baby food. So why does restaurant baby food taste so good?

  • 5 ears of corn, kernels removed, cobs scraped of all “milk”
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup whole milk, more if needed
  • Butter, as needed
  • Salt

Sweat leeks and shallots in butter with thyme until aromatic. Add corn and cook out some of the starch. Then add the cream and milk, and cook until creamy. Season and taste. Remove thyme sprigs and blend in a VitaMix (blender).

Sample dishes:

Speck on Pumpernickel Toast

Meyenberg’s European Style Goat’s Milk Butter is one of the best products out there. You have to get your hands on this stuff! Luckily for me, I can order this via my job. I can eat this butter on some toasted bread, non-stop, everyday!

But for this little amuse bouche, I whipped the butter so that I could squeeze it out from a pastry bag. This was Smoked Italian Speck on Pumpernickel Toast with Whipped Goat’s Milk Butter and Micro Parsley.