Mussels in Pernod Infusion Broth

The 1970’s began the first cultivation of mussels in North America.  Today over 21 million pounds of mussels are farmed throughout North America. Mussel farming can be found in the U.S. in California, Washington, Maine and Prince Edward Island, Canada. Mussels are a very versatile shellfish for Chefs to use in a variety of meals. They can be left in their shells for great plate presentation or they can be served whole out of their shell or chopped. Farm grown cultured mussels are grown in mesh stockings that are suspended from ropes in the water. Cultured mussels are grown in the ocean and suspended in the water. The first mussel cultured farming using ropes began in Spain in 1901on the Mediterranean coast.  Cultured mussels taste sweeter and are more tender than there wild counterparts. Mussels are high in protein and very low in fat and cholesterol.

Since mussels are on this week’s menu, we thought we would share a delicious recipe for  Mussels in Pernod Infusion Broth from Cape Cod Chef Susan Connors.

Mussels in Pernod Infusion Broth
Serves 1 – 2

Ingredients:
15 mussels scrubbed and debearded
1/2 cup julienne leeks (washed thoroughly)
1/2 cup julienne fennel
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Star anise (break off one “star”)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons of small diced fresh plum tomatoes
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or more to taste
1 Tablespoon Pernod
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of snipped chives
1 lemon slice
Grilled or baked garlic bread (crostini)
olive and canola blended oil for cooking (1 1/2 Tablespoons)
2 10 inch saute pans

Directions:
Heat oil over medium high heat
Add fennel and leeks, cook until just starting to get soft
Add garlic, red pepper flakes and anise, cook until garlic starts to soften (about 1 minute)
Add mussels and toss with ingredients in pan
Deglaze with white wine
Add lemon juice, butter and diced tomato – cover with second saute pan and steam until all mussels are open (about 4 – 5 minutes)
Add Pernod and salt and pepper to taste
Spoon mussels and broth into a bowl
Sprinkle with chives
Garnish with fresh lemon slice and grilled garlic crostini

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