Turf and Turf: White Buttons and Crimini with Mussels and Hazelnuts

Recipe courtesy Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, Butter, New York

 

Yield: 12 to 18 total servings or 2 to 3 serving portions for a table to share

Ingredients

4½ pounds fresh mussels, thoroughly scrubbed and de-bearded
3 cups dry vermouth
12 tablespoons lightly salted butter
1 ½ pounds white button mushrooms, ends trimmed, quickly washed and thoroughly dried
12 ounces crimini mushrooms, ends trimmed, wiped clean and thoroughly dried
6 shallots, medium sized, peeled and thinly sliced
Kosher salt to taste
¾  teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 ounces blanched hazelnuts, whole
3 or 4 lemons, juiced

Directions

For a 2 to 3 serving portion: Heat a skillet large enough to hold 12 ounces of mussels in a single layer. Add the mussels and ¼ cup vermouth. Cook for 1 minute. Add about 3 ounces of cold water. The mussels shouldn’t take long to cook, just 2 to 3 minutes. Take care to stir the mussels from time to time so they cook as evenly as possible. Use kitchen tongs to pluck the mussels from the pan as they open.

When all of the mussels are cooked, strain and reserve the liquid for the sauce. Remove the mussels from their shells. Discard the shells. Reserve the mussels in the refrigerator until 5 minutes before serving.

Using a small paring knife, quarter both kinds of mushrooms. Heat another skillet large enough to hold the mushrooms in a single layer. Heat the skillet slightly and then remove the pan from direct heat. Add 1½ teaspoons of butter, and let it melt quickly and turn a light brown color. Return the skillet to the heat and immediately add 1 sliced shallot, 4 ounces button mushrooms, and 2 ounces of crimini mushrooms. Season lightly with a pinch of red pepper flakes and salt to taste.

Add 1½ teaspoons of butter to a small skillet and add ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) of hazelnuts. Season them lightly with salt and “simmer” them over low heat until they turn light brown. Set aside to cool.

Cook the mushrooms for 2 to 3 minutes, until they start to give up liquid. Add another ¼ cup vermouth. Cook for an additional 1 minute and then drain out any cooking liquid. Combine the mushroom and the mussel liquids in a small pan and allow the 2 flavors to simmer together for 1 minute. The sauce may need a pinch of salt. The flavor should be an initial taste of sweet mussel followed by an undertone of earthiness from the mushroom. Swirl in 1½ teaspoons of butter and a touch of lemon juice. Keep warm.

Heat the large skillet until hot, about 2 minutes. Remove from the direct heat and add 1½  teaspoons of butter. When it turns light brown, return the skillet to the burner and add the shelled mussels and mushrooms in a single layer. Cook for 1 minute without stirring

 

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