Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Recipe graciously provided by Cellar Door Executive Chef Charlie Parker

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

5 lbs. of mussels, clean and de-bearded
1 head of fennel, diced
1 Meyer lemon, juiced
6 slices of bacon, diced
4 cloves of garlic, whole and peeled
6 sprigs of thyme
1 cup of 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc
1/4 lb. of butter
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Salt to taste

In a large pan, render down the bacon until crispy. Add fennel and cook until tender. Add garlic, thyme, and de-bearded mussels. Season with salt and add the wine. Cover and cook until the mussels open. Add the butter, parsley, and lemon juice. Serve with crusty bread or pasta.

Note on de-bearding:
Since the vast majority of mussels are farm-raised and held in tanks to flush out grit and impurities, it's not necessary to soak mussels in water at home. If you're unsure, ask the fishmonger when you buy your mussels.

Pinch the beard between your thumb and first finger. Use a side to side motion and firmly tug the beard out. This can feel a bit like a game of tug-of-war between you and the mussel!

As you clean and de-beard the mussels, check to make sure their shells are tightly closed. Discard mussels with cracked shells. If any mussels are open, tap them gently against the counter and discard any mussels that don't close up within a few minutes.
Scrub each mussel individually, trying to remove as much of the stringy bits clinging to outside as possible.

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