Port City Shopping & Les Moules

MusselsThe imagination is a muscle. If it is not exercised, it atrophies.
Neil Gaiman

For one day and perhaps one day only between the next few days of rainfall, we were lucky enough to travel down to Wilmington to gather rations for a several weeks…special TJ’s and “Whole Paycheck” goods that is…

As always a great experience at TJ’s and thanks to a great friend, an equally great experience at Whole Foods, great lunch, brick oven pizza and mussels for dinner after a long day of fun food and socializing since we ran into several other CC acquaintances that drive 1 +3/4 of an hour to shop every month or so…

I don’t often find good fresh mussels around here so I couldn’t pass up the 2 pounds of fresh ones at Whole Foods, just enough for me since someone else doesn’t eat them…easy and just takes minutes to steam open.

Steamed Mussels – for 2 pounds
2 tablespoons EVOO
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 leek white part only, thinly sliced
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 small bay leaves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* optional pinch of fennel dust
Several sprigs of Italian parsley
1 lemon quartered (1/2 for the pot liquor and save the rest to use table-side)
3/4 cup white wine
a splash of Ouzo or Sambuca
Black pepper

Add butter and oil to a pot large enough to hold all of the mussels.  Sizzle the shallot, leek garlic, bay leaves, pepper flakes for 2 minutes, stirring the entire time. Splash in the wine and Sambuca, cook for 1 minute or so to burn off the alcohol.  Add the lemon half bring to a full boil and toss the mussels and parsley into the pot, cover, steam for 1 +1/2 – 2 minutes.  Toss to be sure all of the mussels open, discard the ones that don’t open.
Pour it all into  a large bowl or serve from the “moules pot”…I found one years ago just after I was served mussels from a modules pot at the Blue Talon restaurant in Williamsburg.
Messels pot