Recipe: Mussels and Shrimp “Mariniere”
Here is a recipe I make all the time at home. Everyone loves to eat them right out of the pot, but putting the shellfish into bowls and sopping it up with delicious grilled or toasted country baguette is even better. My son loves the shrimp and mussel combo. Its cold now in Minnesota, so this creamy, rich French bistro-styled classic makes for a great meal. Serves 4 as a nice sized first course or as a lunch along with a salad.
Mussels and Shrimp “Mariniere”
2# fresh black mussels. Look for big fat heavy ones
1# U-15 sized wild caught shrimp
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced very thin
1 carrot, sliced into very thin rounds
3 shallots, minced
1 cup dry white wine
2T minced parsley
1T minced tarragon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 diced tomato, and juices.
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch or two of salt.
Clean and scrub the mussels and remove the beards. Reserve. Using a small sharp knife, make a shallow cut down the backs of the shrimp and remove the veins. Leave shells on, it makes the flavor of them twice as yummy and they wont dry out while cooking.
Place a large (4 qt at least) heavy pot over medium high heat. Add the butter and when foaming add the salt, shallot, fennel, herbs, carrots and garlic. Saute until shallots are glassy and add the wine and tomato. Cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add the shrimp and stir, cook for a minute or so, stirring.
Add the mussels, cover, and holding on to the sides of the pot and with your thumbs holding down the lid, give the pan a good shake to toss the mussels and distribute the solids.
Cook for 4 minutes, toss pot again.
Cook for one minute, toss again.
Cook for one minute and remove lid. Mussels should be open, shrimp should be cooked through.
Immediately remove from heat, divide shellfish into four bowls. Add the cream to the pot and cook for about 60 seconds or until the cream tightens up the sauce. This will happen quickly. Divide liquid over the shellfish and serve with a pepper grinder at the table, plenty of bread and napkins.