serves 2 as a meal or 3-4 as an appetizer
2 large russet potatoes, sliced into ¼” disks
oil or fat for frying
3 slices thick cut bacon, diced
½ a large yellow onion, sliced into rings
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes
½ cup dry white wine
mussels, rinsed and debearded
1 cup cheese curds or crumbled feta cheese
freshly chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
For the best results, you’ll want to slice the potatoes about an hour
ahead of time and place them into a bowl with plenty of cold water to
remove some of the starch. After about 30 minutes, rinse the slices
thoroughly and place them onto a kitchen towel in a single layer to dry
thoroughly, another 30 minutes. I placed a second kitchen towel on top
and pressed lightly to absorb extra water. In the meantime you can prep
all of your other ingredients.
Once the potatoes are thoroughly dry, heat your oil or fat to 300
degrees in a high-sided pot. Fry the potatoes (in batches if necessary)
until just beginning to soften but not yet become brown, about 4 or 5
minutes. Transfer to paper towels to cool thoroughly and turn off the
heat under the oil.
While the potatoes cool from their first frying, start on the
tomato-bacon gravy. Cook the bacon in a large pot with a tight-fitting
lid until crispy (you’ll be steaming the mussels in it later). Remove
the bacon and set aside, leaving all of the drippings behind. Add the
onion and a generous pinch of salt to the bacon fat and cook for 8-10
minutes or until caramelized, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook
one more minute, and then pour in the diced tomatoes. Reduce the heat
to low and simmer while you get set up to finish the dish.
Begin to heat your oil again for the second frying of the potatoes,
this time to 350 degrees. Be sure your mussels are cleaned, debearded,
and unopened. Lastly, preheat your broiler to high, placing an oven rack
about 4 or 5 inches below it.
When your oil is ready, fry the potatoes a second time until golden
brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Transfer the fries to another paper
towel in a single layer and sprinkle generously with salt.
Return the crisped bacon to the tomato-bacon gravy. Add the wine as
well and increase the heat to medium-high. Once simmering, add the
mussels, stir thoroughly once, and cover to steam for 3-4 minutes or
until the mussels are just opened.
In the meantime, layer the potatoes in the bottom of a broiler-safe
baking dish. Once the mussels have opened, transfer them with a slotted
spoon to sit on top of the potatoes. If the sauce is still at all
watery, allow it to reduce a little and then spoon the chunky
tomato-bacon gravy atop the mussels. Sprinkle with all of the cheese and
place under the broiler to melt, watching carefully to prevent burning.
Once the cheese is sufficiently melted and just beginning to brown,
remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle with the freshly chopped parsley,
and serve the poutine immediately. We piled our potato slices high with
shelled mussels, spoonfuls of tomato-bacon gravy, and hunks of melted
bacon recipe courtesy of: Hilary Finch Hutler, Tummyrumblr, December 4, 2012