So I have no idea who Oscar is but since the Oscars are this weekend and you’re undoubtedly going to watch it, I decided to share with you a “people are coming over, what should I make?!” crowd pleaser!
Alright, alright. I realize I’m being dramatic and you’re probably not as geeked out about the Oscars as I am, haha.
I can’t help it though!
I watched a lot of the nominated movies and they don’t repeat these awards so I’m vested in this shit alright?
But maybe you’re not. It’s Sunday night and you just want to chill out, flip the channels and go to bed early. #StoryOfMyLife
That’s cool. Completely acceptable. Mondays coming up, you need the rest, good for you. Just bookmark this page and make this the next time you have people over 🙂
Oscars Stuffed Mussels
What I Used
Aioli: Mayo. Olive Oil. Minced Garlic. Red Wine Vinegar.
Mussels: 3lb Mussels. Dry White Wine. Broth [Vegetable or Clam]. 1 small Yellow Onion. Fresh Spinach. 2 Bay Leaves. Olive Oil. Bacon. Butter. All-Purpose Flour. Whole Milk. Salt. Pepper.
What I Did
Before I begin the details on how I made this delicious appetizer, I’d like to point out a couple things:
– Because I can’t do food with lactose in it, I substituted Mayo with Vegenaise (Vegan equivalent of Mayo) and exchanged Whole Milk with Soy Cream.
– The crowd that demanded I make this loves Bacon….so I leaned real heavy on the Bacon. To me this took away from the Mussels but they relished it. So I’ll write this recipe the way I would make it for myself – less Bacon-y 🙂
So I started with the Garlic Aioli.
In a bowl, add 1 cup Mayo, 1tbsp Minced Garlic, 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar & 2 tbsp Olive Oil. Mix well and set aside.
Now the Mussels:
In cool water, clean the Mussels well and de-beard them
A trick I like to do to clean mussels is mix 1 tbsp Flour in a large bowl of cold water and let the Mussels sit in it for about 5 mins.
The mussels are alive you see….and breathing through the seams of their shells. The flour congests the water, which causes the mussels to ‘spit’ as they try and filter the water through.
When they spit – out comes dirt, grime, small stones etc. and in about 5 mins – the mussel is ‘clean’.
If you watch the water closely, you can even see tiny jet streams in the water. That’s them spitting 🙂. It’s pretty neat!
Note: If you’re going to try this technique – it’s super important that you do not over-do it on the flour! This will NOT cause them to spit up faster. It will instead, suffocate them. And suffocating your mussel will kill it.
Eating dead shellfish = Food Poisoning
Food Poisoning = Mud Gut
Right so now that the mussels are clean and drained, dice the Onion and add ½ of it to a large pot, pouring in 2 cups White Wine and 2 cups Broth.
Close the lid and bring it all to a boil. High Heat.
Then add the mussels and close the lid.
Check in about 3 mins to see if the mussels have started to open.
Using a big spoon, gently move the mussels on top to the bottom so they can cook and open in the hot liquid, shuffling the ones on the bottom that have started to open, to the top.
No need to close the lid – in about 3-5 mins, your mussels would have opened nicely. Move them around intermittently as needed.
When they open, they’re cooked. So using a slotted spoon, transfer them from the liquid to a platter to cool. Toss out any ones that didn’t open. That means they were already gone before you cooked them and we know what happens when you eat dead shellfish…
Pour out the remaining liquid from the pot, leaving about 1 cup. On med heat, reduce the remaining mussel liquid down to about 2 tbsp. Then strain and reserve the liquid.
When the mussels are cool, remove them from their shells, saving about 2/3 of the shells. Roughly chop the extracted mussels and put them in a large bowl.
Split the shells in half and lay them out on a large baking tray.
Then in a sauté pan, add ¼ cup diced Bacon, the other half of your diced Onion and cook until the Bacon bits start to brown
When that happens, add in 2 cups chopped Spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted. About 2 mins.
Remove the bacon mixture from the pan and add to the bowl of mussels.
Mix it in good…
Then pre-heat your broiler to 375F.
To make the roux:
In a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter over med-low heat then add in 2 tbsp Flour. The flour will instantly absorb the butter so it’ll look like a thick paste but don’t worry. Let it cook for about a min, stirring frequently. Then add in ¾ cup Milk and the reserved mussel liquid. Let it cook some more, still stirring, until it is smooth and very thick.
Once this texture is achieved, add in the chopped mussels and mix well. Season as needed with Salt & Pepper.
Stuff the split shells with the mussel mixture.
Lightly spoon the reserved aioli on top of the mussels and insert into the broiler. Broil until golden brown. ~ 30 secs.
I wanted to create some variation, so I did one tray as described above but the other tray – half of the mussels were just sprinkled with Panko Breadcrumbs and the other half was aioli topped with breadcrumbs.
Serve immediately 🙂
What do you guys think?
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