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Mussels with Apple Cider, Caper and Thyme Glaze

adapted from Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast

It seems that most mussel recipes fall into two camps.  The first camp has mussels  mingling with garlic, tomatoes, parsley and white wine. It's a nice camp, familiar, warm and predictable.  The second camp is more exotic and here is where you'll find mussels dipped into a curry broth of coconut milk and chiles. I like both camps. I've been to them, many times. I'd like to take you to a different camp - a camp where mussels hang out with mustard and thyme and apple cider. I think you'll like it here.

    2    pounds mussels -- scrubbed and debearded
        cup  hard apple cider
    2    thyme sprigs
    1    tablespoon butter
    3    tablespoon minced shallots
    3/4  cup  apple or pear cider
    1     teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    1/4  cup  clam juice
    1    tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
    1    teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
    1    teaspoon chopped capers
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Scrub and debeard mussels.

Add the hard apple cider to a pot over high heat, along with the thyme. Add mussels, cover pot and cook for about 3-minutes until the mussels open.  Transfer all the mussels to a large heat-proof bowl. Strain the mussel "liquor" through a fine mesh sieve and set aside, covered to keep warm.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in shallots and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add reserved mussel cooking liquid, apple cider, apple cider vinegar and clam juice. Cook until reduced by 3/4, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mustard, chopped thyme and capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour sauce over the mussels.

PAIRING: Savenierres (chenin blanc from Loire) or Pinot Gris Alsace

4 Comments:

Ro Coveney
I adore seafood and fish, particularly clams and mussels but have been fearful of late with mercury and all that other stuff like oil in the water that affects and destroys the value of this food. Are there any safe areas left?
June 13, 2012, 11:14 am

Tui Avraham
Cookus Interruptus - you guys are a hilarious team! You really pulled out all the stops to give Ms. Selengut a warm welcome. I love what you guys do x
June 13, 2012, 11:29 am

Becky Selengut
Hi Ro: Mercury accumulates in the fatty tissues of long-lived species at the top of the food chain -- think blue-fin tuna or shark. Not so much a concern at all with shellfish that eat plants. As for other sources of contamination, shellfish growers and harvesters are and should be quite careful about the water quality so that they can protect their 'crop'. I'm personally more concerned with GMO's and BPA in cans than shellfish.
June 13, 2012, 4:12 pm

Susan MacPherson
O-o-o-h this sounds SO delicious and is now on my list to try. Loved it when she said, Where the FISH have you been? That is what a seafood chef would say, right?
June 16, 2012, 7:58 pm

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