Saturday, April 12, 2014
Hopleaf's Beligan-Style Steamed Mussels
A few weeks back Ross and I headed to Chicago for a mini break. Highly recommended by many friends was a stop at Hopleaf, for both their extensive Belgian beer list and for their steamed mussels. We were not disappointed.
The description alone on their menu is nearly all you need to recreate the dish at home, adjusting seasoning to your personal taste. A brief search yielded two very similar recipes. Hopleaf uses Wittekerke by Brouwerij de Bradandere to steam the mussels. I opted to use the same, though many excellent witbiers and wheats abound these days. As an homage to Chicago, dinner was paired with Goose Island's 312 Urban Wheat Ale.
adapted from recipes at Time-out and Restaurants.com
yields 2 main course servings
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 fresh bay leaves, bruised
leaves of 3-4 thyme sprigs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 pounds Prince Edward Island mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
12 oz witbier or wheat beer
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic, celery and shallots, sauté until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the thyme and bay leaves, sauté an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the shallots and celery are translucent.
Stir in the beer, butter, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Add the mussels and immediately cover. Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until most of the mussels open. Discard any unopened mussels. Season broth with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Serve alongside a good, crusty bread to sop up the broth and a cone of piping hot pomme frites with garlic aioli.