5 pounds mussels
3 sprigs fresh tarragon
5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more chopped for garnish
1 750-ml bottle dry white wine
2 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 shallots, sliced
20 whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 large red bell pepper
Discard any mussels with broken shells. To clean mussels, soak them in cold
water for 15 minutes, and scrub shells with a stiff brush. Using your thumb
and forefinger, grasp the dark, weedy growth (the beard) protruding from
between the mussel shells, and tug it from the mussel. Rinse well, and
refrigerate until needed.
Make a bouquet garni: Tie tarragon and parsley sprigs in a small piece of
cheesecloth, and set aside. Combine wine, water, lemon juice, shallots,
peppercorns, salt, and bouquet garni in a large stockpot with a
tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 15
Add mussels, and cover. Increase heat to medium, and cook, shaking
occasionally, until the mussels open, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove mussels from broth, and cool both separately. Discard any shells
that haven't opened, as well as the half shell to which mussel isn't
attached. When cool, put mussels back into broth, cover, and chill until
ready to serve. This can be done 1 to 2 days before serving.
Place red pepper directly over the trivet of a gas-stove burner on high
heat or on a grill. Just as each section turns puffy and black, turn the
pepper with tongs to prevent overcooking. (If you don't have a gas stove,
place the pepper on a baking pan, and broil in the oven, turning as each
side becomes charred.) Place pepper in a paper bag to cool. Peel and seed
pepper; cut in 1/2-inch-wide strips, then into diamonds.
Cut mussels from shells with a paring knife. Pour a little remoulade sauce
in each shell, and garnish with chopped parsley and a red-pepper diamond.
Pass on a tray with toothpicks or wooden forks.
Martha Stewart Living, August/September 1992. Found at Martha Stewart