Updated: Mar 29, 2022
For the Mussels
2 lbs Fresh Mussels
2 TBS EVOO
2 TBS butter
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 large sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
½ cup carrot, minced
½ cup celery, minced
½ cup leak, quartered length wise and thinly sliced
1 TBS fresno pepper, minced
1 cup dry prosecco or white wine (delicious enough to drink)
2 TBS Pernod (licorice liqueur)
½ cup creme fraiche
Salt and Pepper to taste
Minced Parsley to garnish
Clean your mussels. Rinse them thoroughly under cold water and remove the furry beard by pulling firmly downward toward the “hinge” or base of the mussel. For an extra polish, sprinkle mussels with coarse salt and gently rub the shells to “exfoliate” any extra sea matter that is not part of the menu:) Rinse salt completely off with cold water and keep mussels on ice until ready to steam.
Preheat a wide shallow sauce pan on medium heat. Add the EVOO and butter. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and saute until it is aromatic and light brown, about 1 minute.
Add the thyme sprigs and bay leaf to the garlic butter and toss a couple times before adding the carrot, celery, leak and pepper. Saute for about 4-5 minutes until the leak has softened and is slightly translucent.
Add the chilled mussels and shake the pan to form a single layer. Stir gently with a wooden spoon one or two passes around the pan. Cover with a lid and steam for 2 minutes. Remove the lid, stir gently and check to see if all the shells have started to open.
Add the prosecco and Pernod. On a simmer with the lid off, let the wine reduce by half. Return the lid and steam for another 5-7 minutes or until mussels are just cooked through.
Place a strainer over a large bowl. Carefully pour the mixture into the strainer and collect the delicious brothy juice in the bowl. Return the strained juice to the pan and bring to a low simmer. Whisk in creme fraiche (more or less to taste) and salt and pepper to taste.
Return mussel mixture back to the sauce and stir to warm through. Serve hot topped with parsley and a side of fries.
For the French Fries
5 russet potatoes
1-2 TBS EVOO
Scrub potatoes under cold water to remove any excess dirt. Pat dry. Cut potatoes into ¼” square sticks by hand or carefully use a mandolin.
Immediately submerge in ice water. Soak for 30 minutes, changing the water at least once to wick out excess starch.
Spread the fries out across a clean and absorbent dish towel and let completely dry for another 30 minutes. The more dry the fry, the crisper the outcome!
Toss the fries in a bowl with EVOO and a pinch of salt and rosemary.
Bake, fry or air fry. We like the air fryer method. Our Cosori air frier has a French fry setting which is about 28 minutes at 380*. Every 7 minutes or so, pause the air frier, remove the tray and shake for even cooking. Serve hot with an extra pinch of salt and rosemary.