Friday, August 5, 2016

Salt Spring Island Moules Marinière: Plump & Sweet

Of the sparkling islands in the Strait of Georgia, Salt Spring Island's incredibly rich, cool, clean coastal waters of British Columbia have produced world class mussels and shellfish for almost a century. The abundance and variety of phytoplankton and micro-algae in these waters are the primary reason behind the areas very sweet, unusually plump mussels which have a high meat to shell ratio. A magnificent mollusc for Moules Marinière, a classic dish found in brasseries throughout the world, the recipes is simple: cook chopped leeks in an abundance of butter, add a dollop or two of white wine, lashings of parsley and a final flourish of light cream. And If you're feel sufficiently motivated, you can also make your own french fries for a traditional moules-frites.

Salt Spring Island Moules Marinière

Serves 4

5 lb Salt Spring Island mussels

2 leeks, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 handful of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
1 cup white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
kosher salt and white pepper
1 baguette, for serving

In a large heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the leeks, season with salt and white pepper and sauté until translucent, about 5 or 6 minutes. Then add the wine and fresh thyme, and stir to combine. Once the wine is bubbling, add the mussels and give them a stir to coat. Cover and turn the heat up to medium-high, and continue cooking 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mussels have opened up. Those that haven't, you should discard. Add the cream and give it all a good stir. Pour the moules in one large serving bowl or portion into two individual warmed dinner bowls. Ladle the sauce overtop and garnish with some additional chopped thyme. Be sure to mop up the sauce with a loaf of warm crusty bread — delicious!

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