Last night, it being a freaking (n’other) snow storm in Toronto, we opted to finish off the mussel souffle base we had frozen from the Ten Plates Dinner. Mussel souffles are a ton of work … you need to prepare a mussel stock, a mussel souffle base and a curried mussel sauce … then, with that in place, prep the actual souffles. Still, all that work is well worth it as the souffles are fabulous.
1) warming the souffle base (a sort of pasty creamlike texture) and added in the chopped mussels; 2) whipping the egg whites (in the KitchenAid, of course)
3) fold the egg whites into the base … this is an art and you need a 1:1 ratio to be successful
4) butter and flour dust your ramekins; 5) pour in the mixture; 6) tent with parchment paper and into the oven it goes
7) an hour or so later, you should have this: a warm, light, delicate mussel-inspired souffle (note: ALL souffles fall so don’t be sad about this; it is simply the laws of nature working)
8) we served this last night with: baby bok choy; G’s wonderful mashed potatoes and perfectly seasoned desiccated Portabello mushrooms … topped with curried mussel sauce
The sauce is pretty simple to make, just pull together a shallot, a couple cloves of garlic and sweat these down. Add in whatever amount of curry powder you want and sweat again. Add in some mussel stock and reduce. Just before serving, whisk in an ounce of creme and some butter pats. Strain this as you head to the table through a chinos and you’re set to go!
9) garlic, shallots, curry and stock; 10) add in creme; 11) whisk in butter just before serving
12) strain through a fine chinos and move to a small serving dish
We served the mussel souffle with an excellent French sparkling wine (a sort-of-champagne) called Cremant de Bourgogne. I do adore Champagne and follow news on Champagne with a devotion and passion second only to masturbation (which is certainly saying something). The thing is, Champagne is challenged at the moment … despite the 319 communes officially designated as producers of Champagne, there still is a desperate shortage. You can blame us Brits for that (yes, I’ve dual citizenship, British/Canadian). Brits are second only to the French themselves in Champagne consumption. Want the proof? Read this from Thursday’s Telegraph.
Rumours continue that the French government is secretly planning on anointing another 40-or-so communes with the designation (see New York Times article back in December). I’m hopeful they will, and would certainly recommend this manufacturer – Dufouleur Pere et Fils – way up in Burgundy to be included on the list. Good small-c champagne at an excellent price.
13 & 14) Cremant de Bourgogne
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I would like to book a table at your “restaurant”! LOLAs I’m catching up on my Xanga reading, I’m getting more hungry by the minute!
as usual, impressive good food, good wine…and my souffles can’t turn out as beautiful as yours(always mushy)..gotta start learning how to appreciate the sparklings, feel so noob when it comes to good wine.
ryc: I know about my brother’s name, its tough for him in school, but he’s been a real gentleman about it..haha, thanks for looking through my photos!
Have a great week!
Sparkling wine in general brings such a good quality of life to life. There are wonderful options at all price ranges and Tawn and I always keep a bottle handy for that Monday evening that needs some sparkle… like tonight, for example!
The reputation of souffles being difficult to make (except for the extra steps needed to make something like a mussel souffle) is really undeserved. Just follow the steps, put in the oven, and enjoy. Even a not quite perfect souffle is still heavenly.
My souffle seem to fall most of the time. I do agree with the champagne. I was treated to some by my visiting snow bird neighbors.
I guess it would be scandalous if some private eye were to dig up a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in your cupboards! There was a piece on Champagne in today’s CBS Sunday Morning show. But I can’t seem to find it in their site yet. It showed one of the regions lobbying to be designated part of Champagne and cites old town hall records for their case.