Breaded MusselsLars Leicht, Central Market
(Central Market, appetizer, mussels, cornmeal, wine, tarragon)
Yield: 4 servings
1/3 C Kosher salt
1 lb fresh mussels, cleaned and brearded
1 Tbsp finely ground cornmeal
3 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
½ C white wine
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 sprig plus 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
2 C fresh breadcrumbs, finely chopped
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
- Stir the Kosher salt into ½ C of very hot tap water to dissolve, and add it to a large bowl of cold water (6-8 cups).
- Add the mussels, and sprinkle with the finely ground cornmeal. Soak for an hour. Remove the "beard" from each mussel, rinse and drain well.
- Place the drained mussels, the white wine, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, the sprig of tarragon, salt and pepper in a medium-sized, covered stock pot over medium-high heat. Shake the mussels frequently to ensure even distribution of heat, until mussels begin to open.
- Using tongs, remove the mussels as they open, placing them in a strainer over a bowl to capture their juices.
- When cool enough to handle, remove half of each shell, and detach mussel from its muscle, arranging the filled shells on a baking sheet.
- Mix 2-3 Tbsp of mussel liquor and the chopped tarragon into the breadcrumbs to moisten them, then heap the breadcrumbs on top of each mussel. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Scrape out a little hollow in each round, being careful not to pierce it through. Give the rounds a brush of oil, and sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt.
- When ready to serve, preheat the broiler, place the tray on the top shelf of oven and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the crumbs bet a light toasting.
- Serve immediately.