This week was supposed to be sardine week. I have been trying to get sardines since Siren launched, and I have failed. Repeatedly. Failing makes me grumpy.
The Pacific sardine fishery is tricky. It opens and everyone rushes out to haul in their quota. Once the quotas are met, the fishery shuts down and most of the catch is block frozen within 24 hours of being caught. Last week the fishery opened up on Thursday, and by the end of the weekend most boats were done fishing and the catch was being frozen. Millions of pounds of tasty little sardines were hauled in and frozen DAYS before I could use them. I had an opportunity to buy block frozen sardines that had been frozen for less than 48 hours, but I really would rather change course and stick to my standards. I am not sure if I will be able to get sardines this year. I am making it a priority as soon as the fishery opens again, but the timing could continue to be an issue. Sardines are my tiny white whales.
We have delicious mussels from Cove Mussel Co. this week. We are lucky to have them as these are some DAMN fine mussels. I will be linking to past care, recipe, and source posts. I was lucky enough to get to spend some time at Cove Mussel Co. and see how the mussels are grown.
I am not too sure where I first came across this week’s recipe, but it has become something I do whenever I have access to mussels and an open flame. In fact, I don’t even know why they are called Nova Scotia Steamed Mussels. Do they use a lot of dill in Nova Scotia? I probably won’t lose any sleep trying to crack that mystery. These mussels are steamed on the grill, so all of you San Francisco folks can get outside and relish the belated arrival of summer weather. If you prefer to cook indoors, please check out Neil Davidson’s mussel recipe from last series. It is OH SO GOOD.
Nova Scotia Steamed Mussels
2 lbs mussels
2 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp chopped dill
1/4 Cup white wine
Not-so-special Equipment: Heavy Duty Foil
1. Preheat the grill of your choice. You want HIGH HEAT.
2. Lay one sheet of heavy duty foil on the counter vertically, and another on top of it horizontally.
3. Scrub mussels and remove beards. Discard any mussels that are open and do not close when tapped.
4.Place mussels in the center of the foil. Scatter butter, garlic, and dill over the top of the mussels. Bring the sides of the foil up to form a little bowl and drizzle the wine over the top.
5. Bring the edges of the foil together to form a loose packet. Leave lots of room for the mussels to open.
6. Place the packet on the grill and barbecue with the lid closed for 15 minutes.
7. Remove packet to a heatproof surface.
8. Carefully open the foil and dump the mussels and the sauce into a pretty bowl.
Eat this with some nice crusty bread!