Recipes | 26 May 2017Mussels in Broth aux Fines Herbs Share article facebook twitter google pinterest There’s nothing like fresh seafood in the summertime. This recipe for Mussels in Broth aux Fines Herbs from Infusing Flavors is a delicious way to enjoy mussels. Mussels in Broth aux Fines Herbs The herbaceous yet delicate broth adds so much to this French classic. Try to select large, meaty mussels such as Green Lip variety. Serves 4. Ingredients 3½ to 4 pounds mussels 3 tablespoons butter 1 large onion, thinly sliced 1 bay leaf 2 medium garlic cloves, sliced 1 cup Broth aux Fines Herbs (below) ½ cup dry white wine or dry sherry 2 tablespoons Fennel-Infused White Wine Vinegar (below) ¼ cup heavy cream ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Good-quality French bread, for serving Place the mussels in a large bowl of cold water. Allow them to filter for at least 20 minutes, but no longer than 1 hour. Pour off the soaking water and rinse the mussels under cold water. While you are rinsing, scrub the mussels with a firm-bristled brush (or the edge of another mussel) to scrape away any debris stuck to their shells. Remove the beards (the fiberous threads that hang from the mussel shell) by pulling them toward the hinge (pointed end) of the shell. Throw out any mussels that are broken or don’t close when tapped against the edge of the bowl. Place the cleaned mussels in a bowl or colander. Melt the butter in a large, lidded pot over medium heat. Add the onion and the bay leaf. Cook until the onion slices are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the mussels, increase the heat to high,and cover the pan. After 2 minutes, remove the lid and pour in the Broth aux Fines Herbes, wine, and Fennel-Infused White Wine Vinegar. Stir the mussels well with a large spoon. Cover the pot again and cook until the mussels have opened wide, another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Remove the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the mussels among 4 shallow soup bowls. Pour the broth evenly among the bowls. Serve with bread to mop up the sauce. Broth aux Fines Herbs This broth is very versatile. You can use it as the base for a fresh summer vegetable soup, pour it over dried bread for stuffing, or use it to make rice. I especially love the infusion of fresh herbs with mussels. Makes 4½ cups Ingredients 1 small leek 2 tablespoons butter 4 cups fish or chicken stock or broth 1 bay leaf ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley ¼ cup chopped fresh chives 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon ¼ cup chopped fresh chervil or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1 sprig thyme Cut off the root end and thick, dark green leaves of the leek. Slice the leek in half lengthwise. Rinse each half under cold running water, fanning the leaves slightly with your thumb so that the water gets in between the layers to flush out any grit. Pat the leek dry and slice thinly, crosswise. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and cook gently until it softens and wilts, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the stock and the bay leaf. Increase the heat to medium-high. When stock just begins to simmer, remove it from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Cover the pot and allow the herbs to infuse for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and sprig of thyme before serving. Erin’s Tip: Fines herbes (pronounced feenz erb) is a classic French seasoning blend often used in omelets, over steamed potatoes, and in vinaigrettes. They typically include finely chopped parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil, though sometimes marjoram is added. Fennel-Infused White Wine Vinegar This vinegar is one of my favorites—simple and full of flavor. It makes a fabulous vinaigrette. Try a simple salad of butter lettuce, radicchio, carrot curls, shaved raw fennel, Fennel-Infused White Wine Vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Makes 1½ cups Ingredients 1 small fennel bulb with fronds intact 1½ cups good-quality white wine vinegar Thoroughly rinse the fennel and pat it dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Break off the delicate fronds and set aside. Cut the woody stalks off the bulb and discard. Slice the bulb, crosswise, as thinly as possible. You should have about 1½ cups of sliced fennel. Place the sliced fennel and fronds into a sterile, wide-mouth, quart Mason jar. Pour the vinegar over the fennel. If the fennel is not fully submerged, press it down with a wooden spoon or remove a couple of slices from the jar. Close the lid securely. Allow the vinegar to infuse in a cool, dark place, undisturbed, for 3 to 4 weeks. Strain the Fennel-Infused White Wine Vinegar through a cheesecloth-lined, fine-mesh sieve into a sterile jar or bottle. Discard the fennel slices and fronds. Store in a cool, dark location for up to 1 year. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Ready to escape “vanilla” ho-hum recipes, embrace your culinary creativity, and taste something new? Yeah, we thought so. Pick up this cookbook–your ticket to a world of flavor. Infusing Flavors features recipes to infuse mind-blowing flavors into teas, tisanes, bitters, liqueurs, aguas frescas, waters, vinegars, oils, gastriques, shrubs, ice creams, soft drinks, and more. Each section in the book is packed with unique recipes. You’ll learn which herbs, fruits, flowers, vegetables, and even seeds can be prepared and infused into all-natural food and drink recipes. With its emphasis on flavor infusions that stretch beyond your standard cocktail bitters, this book is a special treat for any food lover. Here’s a taste of some of the ingredients you’ll use in Infusing Flavors: Herbs and flowers – chamomile, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, mint, sage, thyme, lemon verbena, ginger, basil Fruits – cherry, peach, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, citrus (lemons and oranges), watermelon Veggies, berries, and roots – celery, fennel, dandelion The blending and infusing chapter, plus the diverse recipe sections of the cookbook, promise to keep readers enthralled and learning something they never guessed about these wide-ranging ingredients for flavor infusion. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.