Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Moules Frites and a Beer Cocktail

My dear noble two readers,

It's been too long, I know.  You've missed me.  I've missed you.  Let's make amends.  My peace offering?  A food AND cocktail post.  Tonight I made Moules Frites (Mussels and Fries) and a cocktail with beer.  I'll start with the food.

Moules Frites

4 russet potatoes
1 quart peanut oil
Fresh ground black pepper

1 lb mussels (live):
325 ml dry white wine
Grapefruit bitters
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 large carrot (skinned)
1 serrano pepper (seeds removed)
2 oz olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper

Spicy mayo

Bitter Berry (not at all influenced by Matthew Berry.  Not even a chance.  *ahem*).
1.5 oz gin
.5 oz Aperol
3 dsh grapefruit bitters
IPA (Beer, I used Sierra Nevada Torpedo)

Skin and slice potatoes.I have a shortcut device thanks to my wonderful cousin but if you aren't so lucky, check out my boy Kenji's knife skills post on how to replicate the process the old fashioned way, here:

Blanch the fries.  Boil water with a little bit of vinegar and salt.  Add potatoes.  Boil 10 minutes

Dry fries on a paper towel lined thing.

In the meantime, add all the veggies and such to a heavy bottomed pot.  Also, heat up the peanut oil to 400 degrees in a cast iron skillet.

Add the fries to the oil in batches.  Let them cook for a minute or so, then remove and dry.  YOU ARE NOT DONE HERE. YOU WILL FRY THEM TO A CRISP SOON.

Once done frying for the first time, let all the fries dry on a paper towel-lined something or another.

In the meantime, dump all the mussels into a bowl of cold water.  If any are open, tap them.  If they don't close shut, throw them away.  They're dead and nasty.  They shouldn't smell like spoiled seafood.  Also, remove anything from the exterior of the shells, like the little scraggly "beards." Now heat up the veggies and oil from earlier on high.  Get wine and bitters ready.

Once the veggies and such are starting to make some noise, add the mussels (sans water) and cook for about a minute and a half with the lid on.  Strain in a caldron over a bowl.  Then add the mussels back to the heavy bottomed pot and cover with the broth and reheat for a couple minutes.

While that is happening, combine 1.5 oz of gin and .5 oz of Aperol with 3 dashes of grapefruit bitters.  Pour over ice in a tall glass (if it's a pint glass, you'll have to recalculate the ratios.  Should be full of ice, then half filled with gin mix and half filled with beer) and garnish with a lemon twist, being sure to express the oil around the rim of the glass.  Don't stir.  The specific gravity of the ingredients will force mixture after a little bit.

It's a thing of beauty.

Consume while watching Archer.


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