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    MUSSEL SOUP DUBLIN
    from "Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread Cookbook" by Crescent Dragonwagon

    This soup, like most Ozark natives, is of Scots-Irish origin. It's excellent on a chilly night. The cider adds a pleasant, subtle note that tastes right from the first soothing, swooningly good bite, especially with the mellowing touch of whiskey. Remember Molly Malone who lived "in Dublin's fair city, where girls are so pretty, crying 'Cockles and Mussels, alive, alive-o'"? The mussels must be alive, alive-o, to make this or any other mussel soup. (Cockles, by the way, are members of the clam clan.)

    Serves 6 as an Entrée or 8 as a Starter
    INGREDIENTS (CLICK TO BUY)

    3 pounds live mussels in the shell, cleaned and bearded if necessary
    4 cups unsweetened cider, flat or sparkling (such as Martinelli), or dry hard cider if you can get one that is high quality
    1/4 cup Irish whiskey
    2 sprigs fresh parsley
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 medium carrot, scrubbed or peeled and chopped
    1 rib celery with leaves, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced (optional)
    1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    4 1/2 cups milk, heated
    Grating of fresh nutmeg
    Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
    1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream (Note follows)

    Print recipe
    PREPARATION

    1. In a large pot, combine the mussels, 2 cups of the cider, the whiskey and parsley. Simmer gently, covered, until the mussels open, 6 to 8 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened. Remove the mussels to a colander, reserving the cooking liquid. Strain it through cheesecloth or a very fine strainer as it may be sandy. Remove the mussels from their shells when they are cool enough to handle.
    2. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot, celery and bell pepper and sauté until softened, 2 minutes more. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir it in, cooking for a minute or so. Gradually whisk in the hot milk and season with the nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring frequently, over very low heat about 10 minutes, then stir in the remaining 2 cups cider and the mussel cooking liquid. Heat through gently. At this point you may strain the soup or leave it chunky (I prefer the latter).
    3. Add the mussels and cream to the soup. Heat through slowly and serve very hot.
    Note: You may substitute milk thickened with cornstarch or evaporated skim milk for the cream or simply omit it. As always, the cream does make the soup more delicious, but it's also good without.


    Product nutrition and information
     Quantity Ingredients Est.Price

    lb
    Farm-Raised Prince Edward Island Mussels - $3.49/lb
     
     
      Red Jacket Apple Cider - $3.49/ea
     64oz
     
      Jameson Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey - $36.99/ea plus tax
     750ml
     
      Italian Parsley - $1.99/ea
     Farm Fresh
     
      Organic Yellow Onion, Medium - $1.99/lb
     Medium
     
      Cal-Organic Organic Carrots, Bag - $1.99/ea Save! 2 for $3.00
     1 lb
     
      Celery, Medium - $2.99/ea Save! 2 for $5.00
     Farm Fresh, Med
     
      Amish Country Farms Organic Whole Milk - $4.49/ea
     1/2 gallon
     
      Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream - $2.99/ea
     1 pint
     
    Optional Ingredients
      Organic Red Greenhouse Bell Pepper - $5.99/lb
     
     
    You May Already Have
      Breakstone's All-Natural Unsalted Butter - $2.49/ea
     2 sticks  
     
      Gold Medal All Purpose Enriched Bleached Pre-Sifted Flour - $2.29/ea
     2lb
     
      FreshDirect Whole Grenadian Nutmeg - $5.49/ea
     2.25oz
     
      Morton's Regular Salt - $0.99/ea
     26oz
     
      FreshDirect Tellicherry Peppercorns - $3.79/ea
     2.25oz
     
      Jameson Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey - $36.99/ea plus tax
     750ml
     
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