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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