Ok, Ok, so Lent lasts for forty days. Fourth week of Lent. Fourth Meatless Friday. I have been thinking alot about mussels lately. I adore mussels. Mussels are meatless, yes; and very sexy.
When we travel or dine out, if mussels are on a menu in any way, we order them. They are typically relegated to appetizer status as a Meuniere (garlic, wine, shallot, butter, and parsley) or simply steamed in beer or wine. They always have crunchy bread on the side to sop the briny bottom-of-the-bowl broth. I have been known to drink the broth, with bowl tipped to my mouth in garish heathen style, leaving a garlicky buttery
"Got Milk" mustache across my upper lip.
Mussels can also have star status on menus. They appear in bouillabasse, paella, and cioppino. At the Black Horse Tavern overlooking Smith Bay in the Hamilton Parrish of Bermuda, I had Curried Mussel Pie, a very traditional dish in Bermuda; flaky shortcrust pie dough filled with curry-creamed steamed minced mussels, papaya, bacon, and potatoes.Interestingly odd, but good! At The Little Inn at Washington, Patrick O'Connell offers a cream of mussel soup, with hints of anise-flavored Pernod, orange zest, saffron, and cream. Fantastically lush.
Locally, we have had mussels all over town. Le Deuville offers an all-you-can-eat steamed mussels special every Tuesday. The steam bath wafting off the mussels alone is drinkable. Clamato's Mexican Seafood has a seafood soup filled with an entire fish (head and tail) along with mussels, shrimp, cilantro, and jalapeno peppers in fish stock. Spicy, challenging, and fantastic. Bellinis seafood entree section includes a very classic Farfalle al Frutti di Mare with mussels, clams, shrimp, and scallops bathed in a saffron fennel and white wine tomato seafood broth. Acidic tomato and seafood heaven. Personally, my favorite flavor profile is asian, and Arirang Garden's Hoe Mool Tang, with vegetables, crab, mussels, squid, and scallops in a rich spicy stock is heart warming and mouth watering.