Sea Food Extravaganza

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Table set to welcome guests

Mood set by opposites…

Fine linen, polished silver, crystal, glass

Complimented by rustic twig place mats and iron napkin rings

Table setting includes glass bowels to use for discarding mussel shells and glass bread plates.  Slavers are silver to contrast with the twig place mats.

Fresh Oysters on the half shell
2006 Domaine Carneros Brut
French Style Mussels
Caesar Salad
Fresh French Bread or Baguettes
Wine – 
Logan Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Monterey, Chardonnay 15.98
This wine is richley oaked, with exotic flavors of mangoes, nectarines, passion fruit & kiwis.
The oak adds extra layers of buttered toast, creme brulee and smokey vanilla. 90 pts Wine Spectator.

Chocolate Almond Viennoisserie
Decaf Espresso

The recipe for French Mussels is one of our favorites.  We were first introduced to this treat when visiting the French Riviera.  Every time we enjoy this meal, we think of the times we feasted steps from the ocean in Villefranche.  Always with a wonderful French white burgundy  and lots of fresh french bread.  I also like this meal because it can be dressed “up” as above or “down” for a simple meal for two in the kitchen.
Since it is both easy to prepare and inexpensive French Mussels and French bread are monthly treat for us.

The oysters are easy to prepare.

Be sure to have an oyster knife to open.

Serve chilled on the half shell with just some green lettuce for garnish.  I like Romaine Lettuce.  The leaves are broad and colorful.  They also lay flatter than iceberg lettuce.

We served on small glass plates placed on the slaver – to compliment the table.

French Mussels

1 medium yellow onion
1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley ( Italian or curly)
1 1/2 cup dry white cooking wine
2 Tbsp butter
4 lbs. Mussels Crush Garlic and dice onions heat butter in large skillet or pot, then sauté until onions are clear.

When preparing your mussels take a couple of minutes to rinse in

bearded muscle (remove)
bearded muscle (remove)

water and pull off the “beards”.  The beard is the sea grass that the mussel still has attached.  It’s not hard to remove.  Also, check to be sure that your mussels are still alive. -Yes, alive.  If you have mussels that are open and that do not close when bumped or moved, remove them from your cooking.  Live mussels will close tightly.  Once cooked they open.  It isn’t uncommon to have a few mussels that do not open in the steaming process. Do not eat, discard with shells.  They were not alive when they went in the pot.

saute onions with white wine
saute onions with white wine

Once the onions are transparent ad the wine, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.




Next ad the mussels, over and steam 3 – 5 minutes until open.

add muscles and white wine
add muscles and white wine







Remove from heat and serve.Serve in large soup bowels.We have also used serving bowels for individual servings.

Baguettes from Bouchon’s Bakery – Yountville CA

So where do we get mussels?  Most fine grocery stores will carry mussels in the sea food section.  When purchasing, DO NOT let the plastic bag be sealed for the ride home.  Mussels, like clams are alive and need air to breath.  Make the sea food section your last stop before checking out (also available fresh at Costco on Fridays).

We however, like to make a day trip for our very freshest mussel purchase … and it is then that we also bring home the oysters.  When entertaining, we always make the drive.

Of course, living in Northern California gives us the opportunity to drive to Tamales Bay (home and breeding ground of the Great White) for the purchase.  When I say day trip – it is just that.

baguettes- Bouchon's Bakery
baguettes- Bouchon’s Bakery

On our way back to our little town, we will stop in Yountville for the fabulous rolls (pictured here) and the dessert




Dessert with espresso…








I did say that mussels are a fabulous at home special “kitchen” meal…

here’s what that looks like… Enjoy!

Fun kitchen dinner
Fun kitchen dinner

Yes, you can dine like a king…

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