Elsa Sampou has lived on Cape Cod in West Barnstable for close to 30 years. She and her husband Andre bought an old 1780 house that cried out for love and attention with a hope that this would be a great gathering place for their large family. They have not been disappointed as over the years there’s been many celebrations and parties. Before coming to the Cape, Elsa was not a fan of shellfish at all, but of course, once here, and husband Andre being a hunter/gatherer, they were soon checking out the gifts from the sea. Clamming was top priority but then one day they kayaked out of Barnstable Harbor to a place called Mussel Point; this was a long time ago when the colony of mussels was abundant. They came home with an enormous “catch”. The job of cleaning them was left to Andre and the cooking left to Elsa. The best recipe she found was for Mussels Mariniere. There are many ways to prepare mussels, mostly steaming them in wine and seasoning them either spicy or creamy. They are also a great addition to other seafood dishes, sitting among shrimp, lobster, scallops or clams – a gourmet feast!
Over the last few months we have posted a sampling of recipes from “The B.A.R.S. Book of Favorite Shellfish Recipes”. These recipes are from members of the B.A.R.S. Board of Directors, their families, friends, and associates. The cookbook includes Appetizers, Soups, Main Courses, Desserts and This & That. There are helpful cooking hints throughout this very unique Cape Cod cookbook.
“The B.A.R.S. Book of Favorite Shellfish Recipes” is available for $17.00 by clicking this link to the B.A.R.S. website http://shellfishing.org. All proceeds from this cookbook go to scholarships and the promotion of the BARS Mission Statement.
For further information on BARS and its Mission Statement go to http://shellfishing.org/.
Now enjoy Elsa Sampou’s recipe for Mussels Mariniere!!!
2 Tbls. flour
5 Tbls. unsalted butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 Tbls. onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups white wine
2-4 dozen mussels
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 Tbls. dijon mustard
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
In a small bowl, blend flour and 3 tablespoons butter together with a fork until smooth. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a heavy bottom saute pan with a lid that fits tightly. Add garlic, onion and bay leaf and cook, stirring for a few minutes. Add white wine and bring to a boil. Add mussels, cover and cook until shells open.
Discard any unopened shells. Remove mussels from liquid with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Bring liquid to a boil and remove from heat. Quickly add flour and butter mixture and put back on the heat, whisking constantly. Bring mixture to a boil until it thickens. Cook for another minute or two to cook out the taste of raw flour. Reduce heat to low. Add cream, mustard and egg yolks. Heat to warm, stirring constantly. Don’t bring back to a boil or the eggs might curdle. Pour sauce over mussels and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Add generous slices of crusty french bread for dipping into the sauce. Yum! C’est merveilleux!