Jade and I pined for fresh fish and seafood when in the States. I particularly missed fresh oysters (Gillardeau and Tarbouriech) and fresh mussels(Bouchots). These smaller, delicate mussels are perfect with a variety of sauces. Today I decided to go “Mediterranean” with onion, bell peppers and garlic. I also added a undrinkable Portuguese white wine. I think that was a mistake and, to me, gave the sauce a slightly bitter taste. Everyone denied it but they were both polite and hungry; they emptied the pot 🙂 Still, as I have in the past, I’ll use an unimportant but drinkable wine next time.
The weather was beautiful and M. Parret set the table outside in his courtyard. Feeling like citizens of the world, we began this latest eating marathon with Portuguese sausages, assorted French hors-d’oeuvres and some not very dry German wine. To wash the taste of the German from our mouths, we then opened a bubbly Bailly cremant 😉
Claiming that the German wine was a gift from a friend, Le Parret tried to distract us by discussing Florence and Lionel’s proposed venture into the hotel/restaurant business.
What an interesting couple! Lionel grows potatoes for the French market and Florence is a wine expert, particularly Chablis. Her parents ran a well known restaurant in Barbizon, France. Interesting, hearty eaters and drinkers, they were a welcome addition to our table.
M. Parret made an exceptional salad of garden tomatoes, heart of palm, homemade mayonnaise and some dried herbs.
M. Parret confided to me that he feels he has lost some of his groove or enthusiasm for cheese presentation. I don’t think so. He paired the cheeses with a Cotes de Bourg.
When Etienne the food course Gestapo isn’t around, we have our salad course with the cheese. I always do even when he is around because I’m an American with absolutely no palate 😀
Le Parret needs another dessert idea. Creme again, this time with raspberries and currants.
Fresh bouchots mussels for 6, I know I got a lot, ask the fishmonger, scrubbed and bearded
4 tbsp butter
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bottle of drinkable white wine
1 handful of parsley, chopped
Melt the butter in a large stock pot, add the onion, bell peppers and garlic, then saute until the vegetables are just soft.
Add the wine to the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and cook until the mussels have opened, 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.