4 to 6 pounds best quality mussels (Penn Cove or Bouchot), beard removed
1 cup white wine
2 cups mussel juice (or substitute clam juice)
1 quart fryer oil or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
Let butter rest at room temperature.
Pick the charred leaves of the rosemary and rough chop. Fold into the butter
Peel the potato and, using a mandolin, shave into matchstick fries. Soak
the matchsticks in cold water for 1 to 3 hours.
Slice the leek lengthwise, then cut width-wise 1/4 inch from the root until
the leaves start to open. Blanch in boiling salted water 2 to 3 minutes, or
until soft. Shock in ice water, strain and set aside.
In a large pot or sauté pan, sauté the garlic and shallots on medium heat
until translucent. Add thyme and mussels, increase the heat to high, and lightly
stir. Then add the white wine. Cover the mussels until they start to open, about
2 to 3 minutes. Remove the lid and reduce the wine by two-thirds, then add the
mussel or clam juice and leek. Discard any mussels that haven't opened.
Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees F.
Remove as much of the water as possible from the potatoes, then place the
matchsticks into the fryer, adding them very slowly to the oil. When the matchsticks
are light brown and crispy, remove and place on a dry towel, sprinkle with sea
salt and thyme leaves. Finish the mussel liquid with the charred rosemary butter,
salt and pepper.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Approximate values per serving: 709 calories, 47 g fat, 168 mg cholesterol,
38 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 1,507 mg sodium, 60 percent calories