Gin Mussel Shooters

Posted On May 11th, 2014 Author Lia Rinaldo  Comments: 0

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Slow Food Canada national conference right here in Nova Scotia, in Tatamagouche to be exact. Delegates came from across Canada and took in a packed schedule of meetings, tours and meals over the course of four days. It was great to catch up with Slow Food friends and have the excuse to spend time in a part of the province I very rarely have the opportunity to get to, but not for lack of trying. The annual Slow Food Nova Scotia fundraiser that I have been running for the last three years–the Spring Supper–also hit the road to the event, but that's a story for another blog post. It went off without a hitch and launched a successful new group of chefs to watch out for–the East Coast Chefs Collaborative

In the midst of all of this, one of the conference organizers Angus Bonnyman handed me a copy of a new Nova Scotian cookbook as a gift, Mussels by The Kilted Chef Alain Bossé & Linda Duncan. Fresh off the presses, it's an entire book dedicated to the one little mollusk with 77 recipes! I'm a big mussel fan but am guilty of defaulting to my regular recipe for mussels in a Thai red curry, with a big loaf of crusty bread to sop up a spicy broth. As Angus and I stood there chatting, I opened to this exact recipe and thought... damn, there it is... Gin Mussel Shooters. The thing about mussels in Nova Scotia is that they are fresh, cheap and plentiful; super easy to prepare and cook with. This recipe may have taken me about half an hour start to finish with a bit of quick styling for a few photos at the end. I did, however, have a little misfire this morning when I took this dish to my sister's place for Mother's Day brunch as a little starter. I think everyone was a bit taken aback by the shooters, but hey, that's just how I brunch. Perhaps I will reserve this as an evening appetizer for the next crowd. In the meantime, we've managed to polish them off between us back at home. All good. 

Gin Mussel Shooters

From Mussels 

Serves 12

1 lb fresh mussels

1 tbsp butter

1/4 cup shallots, chopped

1 medium tomato, diced

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp of dried oregano

4 oz gin- I used Hendrick's Gin

1. Rinse the mussels under running fresh water. Throw away any that do not close. 

2. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Sauté the shallots, tomato, paprika and oregano until the shallots are translucent.

3. Add the mussels and toss gently, top with the gin, cover and steam for 4 to 5 minutes or until steam is pouring out from under the lid. 

4. Remove the mussel meat, break the shells in half and place the halves on a serving platter. Place two mussels on each half shell, and then top with the broth. Or do what I did- put a splash of gin on the bottom of a shot glass, add two mussels and top with the broth. Served on a platter with shot glasses tucked into seaweed for dramatic effect. 

5. Refridgerate, and serve cold. 

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