Photo credit: Susan Kirton
Much of our culinary heritage in Louisiana has been influenced by the French.
Julia Child adapted French cuisine for mainstream Americans and started a revolution with her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking which was released in 1961. It has become a standard for those interested in classic cooking methods, techniques and recipes.
Julia Child introduced Americans to Moules Marinière in this cookbook. In French, moules means mussels and marinière means sailor-style.
I wanted to share a recipe that I have adapted from the classic, with the addition of regional ingredients from Louisiana, where I call home.
My family loves this recipe. In the photo above we shared Mussels Louisiane with our dear friends Susan and Patrick Kirton who were won over as new converts to mussels...and the white wine didn't hurt any either.
Enjoy and as Julia would say...bon appétit!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces smoked turkey or pork tasso, sliced crosswise a quarter inch and then again lengthwise a half inch
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded*
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onion
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add tasso and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onions, cook 3 minutes, add garlic and continue to cook another 3 minutes until onions are soft, stirring frequently. Add wine, cream and salt, stir. Add mussels, stir, cover the pot, and cook until mussels open and are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add parsley and green onions. Adjust seasoning to taste. Divide the mussels and sauce between 4 bowls and serve with the crusty bread.
* Make sure the mussel shells are tightly closed. Discard any with cracked shells. If any are open, tap them softly and discard any that don't close up immediately. Wash each mussel individually, and remove what looks like brown threads by pinching firmly and pull the beard out.