Mussel up in just 2 days
Serve shellfish in wine and chowder
Many Parisian bistros offer an inexpensive and satisfying bowl of mussels steamed in wine, served with a large plate of fries. Fries, of course, add a lot to the briny dish, but so do crusty chunks of toasted bread. Farm-raised mussels from Maine are widely available, even in winter. Tip them into a pot of sauteed shallots, add plenty of white wine, and turn up the heat. The mussels will open as you shake the pan and the shells will fill with steamy broth.
Set some mussels aside for a chowder with saffron, tomatoes, leeks, fennel, and red-skinned potatoes. The chowder is elegant, and a pretty hue of gold tinged with rose. At your home bistro, it might become a regular.
Sally Pasley Vargas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.