Discover more from Colu Cooks
A Day Trip to P.E.I.
And, steamed mussels of course.
Our dear friend (and next door neighbor in Hudson) Kelly has been visiting and I can’t tell you how nice it has been to share this special place with others. The days have been sunny and blustery and everyone wakes as they choose. I’m up early with Joshie the dog and the house is quiet until around 8:30 am. I get some writing done and have some time with our little man, who is nearing the end of his days. It’s peaceful.
Everyone is on their own for breakfast and we all cobble together lunches from last night’s leftovers, it’s all very comfortable and familial. Kelly and I will sometimes walk to the beach in the morning with her sweet and most lovable dog Judy and then I come home to work for the day. Happily, we all gather for dinner. Last night, she was on duty and made Marcella sauce (using a 28-ounce can of tomatoes always) topped with arugula - which is also my favorite way to eat it. It’s no wonder we’re such good friends.
Last weekend we took a day trip to P.E.I. and visited Thunder Cove Beach and lunched at an adorable spot called Ship to Shore. We shared some briny and crisp Malpeque oysters from just up the road and sipped on cold local beers. As you may know, P.E.I. is also famous for their mussels and I was not leaving the island without bringing some home. It’s only a 1.5 hour drive away! We pulled into Basin View Seafood, where I most certainly overbought fish to freeze for future use, but I also got my hands on some incredible mussels and dinner was planned. Hands down they were the best mussels I’ve ever eaten - sweet, salty and of the sea. I kept the preparation very traditional, because why mess with a good thing? I did ask Chad to make his “famous” garlic bread so we could sop up all the buttery goodness at the bottom of the bowl. I also threw together a quick salad of radicchio, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon and salt. ‘Twas a lovely meal that came together in no time and I encourage you to do the same - pair with some rosé.
P.E.I. Steamed Mussels with Lots of Butter
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
¾ cup dry white wine
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
Lemon juice and zest
In a stock pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
Add the white wine and bring to a simmer and allow to reduce by half, about 2 minutes.
Add the mussels and stir to coat in the butter. Bring to a simmer and cover. Check the mussels around the 2 to 3 minute mark. Transfer the mussels as they open to a large bowl and tent with foil. Discard any mussels that have not popped.
Turn heat to medium low and whisk in the remaining butter and pour over the mussels. Top with the parsley and a good squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon or so of the zest.
Serve in the bowl and let people have at it around the table, soaking up all the good stuff with Chad’s garlic bread.
Chad’s Garlic Bread
Chad makes the best garlic bread, hands down. For this recipe, he makes a soft compound butter with sautéed garlic and spreads it along both sides of the bread and gets it extra crispy from a few minutes under the broiler. It is so perfect for dunking and scooping.
1 baguette sliced lengthwise
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
¼ cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until garlic is light golden. Pour into a small bowl and allow it to cool. Once melted butter has cooled. Fold mixture into the remaining butter.
Place bread open faced on a foiled lined baking sheet. Spread butter mixture over both slices of the baguette. Sprinkle it with cheese and parsley.
Cook for about 12, or minutes until bread begins to brown. Turn the oven to broil and cook 2 minutes more, or until it gets deep golden in color, checking frequently to make sure bread does not burn. Remove from the oven and tear apart at the table.
Colu Cooks is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.