PEI mussels star in this Mark McEwan dish, bathed in a zippy, Latin-influenced tomato broth that’s big on flavour but low on fat and carbs. Stretch a little butter a long way by whipping it with ice water, and minimize the sodium content by making your own sofrito and fish stock.
- 1½ tbsp. (23 mL) minced onion
- 1 tbsp. (15 mL) olive oil
- ¼ cup (50 mL) canned whole, unsalted roma tomatoes, crushed
- 2 tbsp. (30 mL) Spanish sofrito (see below)
- 1 tsp. (5 mL) chopped, oil-preserved red chili
- 2 lb. (1 kg) mussels, scrubbed
- ¼ cup (60 mL) white wine
- 1 cup (250 mL) fish stock (see below)
- 1 tbsp. (15 mL) whipped butter (see below)
- ½ tsp. (2 mL) lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. (30 mL) chopped, mixed parsley, oregano and cilantro
- 1 whole scallion, sliced
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1 cup (250 mL) minced red or white onion
- ½ cup (125 mL) minced celery
- ¼ cup (50 mL) minced fennel
- ¼ cup (50 mL) minced carrot
- ¼ cup (50 mL) minced garlic
- ½ cup (125 mL) olive oil
- 2 lb. (1 kg) white fish bones (such as halibut, sole, turbot, flounder), rinsed and chopped
- ½ Spanish onion, sliced
- 1 small leek, white part only, sliced
- 16 parsley stems
- 3 bay leaves
- 12 peppercorns
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 cup (250 mL) white wine
- 2 tsp. (10mL) kosher salt
- 1/3 lb (150 g) butter, at room temperature
- 1 ice cube
- Combine the sofrito, vegetables and garlic in a saucepan, add the oil and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until vegetables are completely wilted. Set aside.
- You need only 2 tbsp. (30 mL) of sofrito for the mussels. Refrigerate the rest for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months, and use it as a foundation for soups or stews, in rice dishes, to perk up steak, beans or eggs, or even as a dip like salsa.
- Combine all the fish stock ingredients in a heavy-bottomed stockpot (not aluminum). Add 2 quarts (2 L) cold water, bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour or so, skimming scum from the surface as it rises. Strain and set aside.
- You need only 1 cup (250 mL) of stock for the mussels; freeze the rest in ice-cube trays, then store the frozen cubes in freezer bags.
- Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Blend until creamy. Add ice cube and blend until melted and incorporated completely. Keep refrigerated.
- In a large sauté pan, sweat the onions in olive oil over medium heat for about a minute. Add the tomatoes, sofrito and chili. Sauté a minute longer.
- Add the mussels and immediately deglaze the pan with the wine, stirring up all the browned bits.
- Continue cooking until the wine has reduced by about a third, then add the fish stock. Bring to a simmer and then cover the pot. While the mussels are cooking, warm a large serving bowl.
- After 5 to 7 minutes, stir the pot to check for any mussels that have not popped open, and discard them.
- Add the butter, lemon juice and half the chopped herbs and scallion, and season lightly. Stir again. Taste and correct seasonings, if necessary.
- Transfer the mussels to the warm serving bowl, pour the sauce over top and sprinkle with the remaining chopped herbs and scallion.
Nutrition per serving (half the recipe):
Saturated fat 4.5g