Unlike most of our trips to the Cape, we breezed over the Sagamore Bridge without hitting any traffic. It was particularly odd for the Labor Day weekend. Definitely a pleasant surprise, one we felt we deserved after a summer of sitting bumper to bumper for hours on end. We arrived, mixed gin and tonics, and sat outside until the sun went down. I woke up on Saturday (at 6:30, because Maki’s trained me to wake up then. Oh, the joys of having a pup), and, following a walk around the neighborhood, got started on a batch of blueberry scones. Of course, as we finished our leisurely breakfast, talk quickly turned to what we were going to eat for lunch. It didn’t take long to figure out the perfect Cape Cod lunch: mussels with crusty bread and a crisp white wine.
A bowl of mussels is one of those unique dishes that’s decadent and satisfying and takes very little work. A bit of butter, a lot of garlic, a splash of cream and white wine and you have something splendid. There’s no question that bread must be served… and you’ll need the whole loaf… for scooping up mussels and dipping into this rich broth.
Mussels with Herb-Cream Broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
Baguette, sliced and toasted or grilled
1. Place the butter in a skillet large enough to hold the mussels. Cook over medium heat until melted. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the mussels, white wine, heavy cream, parsley and tarragon. Cover the pan and cook until the mussels open.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop mussels and broth into bowls and serve with toasted baguette.