Seafood Mussels in Basil White Wine Sauce
Ingredients:(Yields: 4 servings)
• 3 ounces fresh basil leaves
• 1 cup olive oil
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 shallots, peeled & finely chopped
• 7 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1/3 cup clam juice
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 30 Mediterranean mussels
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
• 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
• 4 slices country bread, toasted
Directions:TO MAKE THE BASIL OIL:
Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Lower the basil leaves into the water, and boil for 30 seconds.
With a slotted spoon, remove the basil from the boiling water and plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Immediately remove the basil from the ice water and pat dry on paper towels.
Transfer the basil into a blender. Add the olive oil, and blend until basil is very finely chopped and oil is bright green. Remove from blender and set aside.
TO MAKE THE MUSSELS:
In a 12" skillet, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and sauté just until translucent, about 1-2 minutes.
Add the white wine to the pan and let it come to a boil.
Add the clam juice, and season with salt and pepper.
Gently add the mussels, cover, and let cook 1 to 1 ½ minutes, or until mussels have fully opened.
Once the mussels are cooked, remove them from the liquid with a slotted spoon and cover with foil.
Finish the sauce by adding the cream and lemon juice to the boiling wine mixture. Whisk until combined and let mixture boil for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Add 3 tablespoons of the basil oil and stir until combined.
Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese and cherry tomatoes.
Uncover the mussels and gently spoon them into the serving dish and pour sauce on top. Serve with toasted country bread.
Secrets of a Chef:
• Check the mussels when they are raw to make sure that they are closed, or that they close on their own if you tap them. If any are open and will not close on their own, discard them because they are no longer alive.
• Chef Keller likes to serve this in cast iron dishes to keep it hot, or he suggests that it is served straight out of the pot in the middle of the table
• The extra basil oil can be refrigerated and used later. It is great for any seafood dish.