Innkeeper’s Mussel ChowderFrom THE SHELBURNE COUNTRY INN BED AND BREAKFAST
- 5 pounds mussels in shells
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 pound thin-skinned potatoes
- 1 onion (1/2 pound)
- 1 stalk celery (3 oz.)
- ½ yellow or red pepper
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons curry powder, mild
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
- 1 can tomato sauce (28 oz.)
- 2 cups whipping cream
- some Salt and pepper
Serves: 6 as a main course or 8 to 10 as a first-course serving
Scrub mussels in cool water and remove the bissus threads or beards; discard any whose shells don’t close when tapped. In an 8- to 10-quart pan, combine mussels and wine; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over medium heat until mussels open, 5 to 8 minutes. Pour into a colander set in a large bowl to collect broth. Let mussels stand until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, peel and cut potatoes into ½-inch cubes. Peel and chop onion. Rinse celery and dice into ¼-inch pieces. Wash and seed yellow pepper and dice.
In the pan used for mussels, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery; stir often until onion is limp, 6 to 8 minutes. Add curry powder, cayenne pepper and basil; stir until spices become more fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Pour mussel juices from bowl into pan. Add tomato sauce, cream, and potatoes. Turn heat to high; when mixture is boiling, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove mussels from shells; discard shells.
Add mussels to chowder; cover and simmer just until mussels are hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls.