If you haven’t seen Jamie Oliver’s TED speech, you should. It is truly inspirational. One of the many great quantifiable and very attainable goals he proposes, is to make sure each child leaves high school with 10 recipes that will save their life. With just 10 recipes, we can minimize the amount of fast food America is eating, curb the number of deaths associated, and reduce obesity related suffering.

Remy Mussels with Bacon and Fennel  3

If I were to pick 10 recipes to teach, I think a mussel recipe would be one of them. They’re so quick and easy, healthy, and even look impressive enough to serve to guests. I’ve made mussels in so many ways. starting with the classic garlic and white wine preparation. You can then experiment with different aromatics (try onion, shallots, celery, or a combination) and different alcohols (beer, tequila, rum, etc.) The mussels themselves only take about 2 minutes to cook. Super easy! The key is to not over-cook them.

Last week, I used this combination of bacon, fennel, and Remy Martin for dinner guests, and decided it’s my favorite version yet.

Remy Mussels with Bacon and Fennel  2

Just a note on fennel fronds, the stuff on top of the bulb that looks like dill. It ranges from tasting like close to nothing to mildly fennel-like. I like to cut some off and use it as garnish cause it’s pretty.

fennel with cut fronds

Remy Mussels with Bacon and Fennel
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serves 6 as an appetizer

  • 1/3 cup (1/2″) cubed bacon
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil, if needed
  • 1/2 large fennel bulb, sliced and fronds reserved for garnish
  • 1/4 cup Remy Martin
  • 2 lbs mussels, cleaned
  • crusty bread to serve

Instruction -

1. Place bacon in a large pot and bring over a medium flame to render fat (fat oils will come out of the bacon). Different bacons will release different amounts of fat. You want to have about 2 teaspoons of fat so if there’s too much spoon out some. If needed, you can add 2 teaspoons olive oil.

2. Add fennel, turning/stirring occasionally. It will take several minutes for them to soften and brown.

browning bacon and fennel 2

3. Add Remy Martin. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pot quickly. Add mussels, turn to high heat, and cover for 2 minutes, or until the mussels open.

4. Garnish with fronds and serve immediately with crusty bread.

Mussels served with crusty bread 5

posted by jessica at 01:28 PM Filed under American, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.