Recently the Wall Street Journal featured chef Frédéric Eliot from Maine in their “Slow Food Fast” column. Chef Eliot shared his recipe for Steam Mussels with Dry Vermouth, Almonds and Herbs. Besides the mussels you’ll need butter, garlic, almonds, fresh basil, fresh parsley, fresh chives, cayenne, kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, a neutral oil and dry vermouth.
Though the recipe calls for making a compound butter with garlic and herbs, I substituted Minerva Dairy garlic herb butter. As butter is added after the mussels go in the pot, I didn’t think compound butter would be much different than using the garlic herb butter. I did have all the additional herbs chopped/sliced/minced so they would go in the pan at the same time as the butter.
As I was preparing enough for two servings, I was able to put all my mussels in the pan at once. I made sure to use a large enough pan to allow enough room for the mussels to steam open. I had a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the broth that was made with the mussels and just 1/4 cup of dry vermouth. This was a delightful meal. I enjoyed the change from mussels in red sauce, however, my husband who is a die-hard mussels and red sauce man, still enjoyed the meal. While the butter contained sea salt and I was only cooking 2-pounds of mussels, I added a pinch of salt to the pot. We not sure whether it was the taste of the vermouth or the mussels, but the sauce was a bit salty. However, there were no leftovers.
Mussels Steamed with Dry Vermouth, Almonds and Herbs
Adapted from Frédéric Eliot
Kitty Greenwald is a chef, food writer and the
co-author of ‘Slow Fires’ (Clarkson Potter)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons roughly chopped, toasted almonds
1 ½ tablespoons thinly sliced basil
1 ½ tablespoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon minced chives
½ teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 pounds fresh mussels, cleaned
½ cup dry vermouth
Crusty bread, for serving
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.