Think back to your favorite meal or dish that you ever had. The one you dream about. The one you can taste if you just close your eyes and remember. The one that reminds me of the best tagline I have ever seen – “You only live once, but if you dine well once is all you need.”
I’ve asked my husband his favorite meal and he consistently says “the mussels from Fore Street.”
Fore Street is a cozy and rustic restaurant in Portland, Maine that has been on many lists, including landing a spot in the top 100 in the world! And after finally getting there myself several years ago, the restaurant is now in my top 5.
My husband has been lucky enough to get back there a few times when traveling and of course he orders the mussels.
So what’s a girl who loves to cook to do when she wants to really take care of her man? Recreate his favorite dish, of course! My husband has been traveling non-stop over the past 10 months, only coming home for quick 40 hour weekends. He deserved some spoiling.
I knew if I was making mussels it would have to be the Fore Street recipe. Luckily I found it without any trouble.
Having tasted them before I knew they were roasted in a garlicky butter sauce, but was surprised to read that almonds were the main ingredient in the sauce. I guess that explains the richness in the sauce.
Now, I have never prepared mussels at home and wasn’t sure what was meant by debearding the mussels (and honestly I was a bit scared to find out!!). Turns out it is simply removing the tag, or the beard, from the side of the mussel. Click here for a great demo.
This is a very easy dish to pull together – all you need is a food processor, an oven-safe skillet (or cast iron pan), 25 minutes of prep-time and 12 minutes of cook time.
Making the sauce is simply combining the almonds, butter, garlic and other ingredients in your food processor until creamy. Dollop that over the mussels, roast the mussels (while you cut the bread and pour the wine), and that’s it. Sometimes the most amazing and sophisticated things you eat really are the most simple. Back to basics, true, good food.
Mussels Roasted in Almond Garlic ButterAdapted from: Food and Wine (via Fore Street Restaurant)Notes: the original recipe called for 4 pounds of mussels for this amount of sauce. I used 2 pounds of mussels and the same amount of sauce – we definitely wanted extra for sopping it up with bread. Also, I used a lot more garlic at my husband’s request. Glad I did!
- 2 pounds of mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1/2 c salted roasted almonds
- 1 stick unsalted butter quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, halved
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp minced jalapeno
- 1 tsp finely ground pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 c dry white wine
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees farenheit
- In a food processor, grind the almonds until they are mostly fine with some larger pieces. Add in the butter, minced garlic, parsley, shallot, lemon juice and lemon zest. Process until blended. Season with salt.
- Place the mussels in a large, oven-proof skillet.
- Pour in the wine and then dollop the butter all over the mussels, making sure each area of the pan has some of the butter.
- Roast the mussels for 12 minutes, stirring once and shaking the pan a few times. Discard any mussels that did not open after 12 minutes.
- Serve with crusty bread.