I think I'm really made for winter. I spent all of my long weekend in pajamas, with the bed pulled out of our sofa bed, a tray of drinks and books propped up, and the dogs by my side. It was heaven. The way the light scattered in to wake up. I could hear the crunch of deer on the snow and ice and photographed them from my window. I drank a lot of tea and ate a lot of junk food and it was exactly what I needed. A good way to remember that the holidays aren't a season, but all of Winter is.
After the long weekend of eating soups, chips, burritos, and eggs (lots of eggs--the chickens are still producing at 85%!), I wanted something light. Something filling. Aromatic but soft, no sharpness to ruin the pleasant dullness of relaxation. Lazily, gratefully, I knew what I wanted to make - mussels. I know it's not the most relaxing food in the world, but it is probably one of the least fussy and most delicious dishes I can think of. And it was heaven to pinch the meat out between a used shell and to press the warmed, iridescent shell to my lips. To have the broth of wine and garlic slide down the corners of my lips. To toss the used bivalve into the awaiting mouth of the white bowl and to soak the baguette in the small dredges left in the bowl. It was, and will always be, my favorite meal.
Le Creuset wrote a cookbook and it's where the recipe is from below. I feel grateful to have this book, as I am always looking for the path of least resistance when it comes to French food, and this book has it all. Beautiful photographs, easy instructions, no fuss or worry. My absolute favorite way to cook. And with one pot to clean, it made my relaxing weekend all the more stress-free.
Serves 2 or 4
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
- Kosher salt
- 2 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
Directions (as shared in Le Creuset's Cookbook):
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Stir in the shallots and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine, cream, butter, tarragon, and season with s salt.
2. Add the mussels, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir the mussels, cover and continue cooking until they open, 4 to 6 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Sprinkle with parsely and serve at once with the broth and some crusty bread.