Thursday, January 15, 2009

1347. MUSSELS stuffed with BACON, GARLIC and HERBS

makes 8 servings

4 slices smoked bacon
6 garlic cloves, bruised
½ cup rich court bouillon or chicken stock
½ cup dry, fruity white wine
40 large mussels, purged, scrubbed, beards removed
4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons shallots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced 1 slice smoked bacon
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon dried chervil
pinch of dried tarragon
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups rock salt, to line broiling pan
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
crusty bread, for service
lemon wedges, for garnish
parsley sprigs, for garnish

Place the bacon slices on the bottom of a pot that is large enough to hold the mussels. Scatter the garlic cloves evenly on top of the bacon and pour over the court bouillon and wine. Add the mussels, cover the pot with a lid, and bring the liquid to a simmer.

Cook the mussels until they have opened, discarding any that remain closed, and allow to cool. Reserve, refrigerated, until ready to use. (The mussels can be steamed one day in advance.)

Cream the butter in a food processor until light and fluffy. Add the shallots, garlic, bacon, parsley, chervil, tarragon, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and process to mix thoroughly. Reserve until ready to cook. (The filling can be made one day in advance.)

Line a shallow sheet pan with rock salt, to level and stabilize the mussels and retain heat. Discard the upper shell of each mussel and set the mussels onto the salt. Top each mussel with 1 teaspoon [5 mL] of the reserved butter filling, spread across the shell with a metal spatula. (The mussels can be filled and stored, covered and refrigerated, until ready to cook.) Sprinkle on a small amount of the breadcrumbs just before cooking.

Broil the stuffed mussels under a very hot broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the butter is melted and the breadcrumbs are evenly browned.

Serve each guest 4 to 5 mussels, accompanied with warm, crusty bread. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.

courtesy of: The Appetizer Atlas: A World of Small Bites by Arthur L. Meyer and Jon M. Vann. Wiley, 2003

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