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Cayucos Steamed Mussels

Cayucos Steamed Mussels

Courtesy of Coastal - Sn 1/Ep 5Tastemade

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Byron is in Cayucos, CA, learning about abalone, meeting up with Chef Jensen Lorenzen of The Cass House Inn, and making steamed mussels.

Steamed Mussels

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Mussels

  • 2 cups dry cider

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 teaspoon garlic

  • 1 tablespoon shallots

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1/2 lemon - juiced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes

Instructions

  1. Mince shallots and garlic

  2. Chop parsley and zest lemon - set aside

  3. Add olive to a warm pan

  4. Add shallots and garlic, and let them sweat

  5. Add Cidre

  6. Add butter and let it all reduce for ~ 15 minutes

  7. Sprinkle in Chili Flakes

  8. After your broth has reduced, add your mussels for around a minute, or until they've popped open.

  9. Right before serving, add your lemon zest and parsley and stir to incorporate.

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Transcript

- Today I'm checking out Cayucos, a sleepy coastal town where Jensen Lorenzen, chef and owner of the Cass House Inn and Restaurant is going to give me a taste of what the central coast has to offer. It's good to see you chef. - Good to see you. - What's going on today? - Let's go see my buddy Brad, get some abalone. Come back and cook it up. - Awesome, let's do it. - All right. - [Voiceover] Jensen gets his abalone from Brad Buckley at the Ocean Rose Abalone Farm. It's right down the street and we're headed there right now. - Byron, this is Brad Buckley. - Pleasure to meet you Brad. - Nice to meet you too. - What is going on here? - Welcome to the Ocean Rose Abalone Farm in Cayucos. It's the largest abalone farm in the US. It's also the oldest. We've been in operation since 1968 and we grow the California Red Abalone, which is native to the area. And the California Red is also the fastest growing out of all the different species. When they hatch from the eggs they swim like plankton for a week. From that point they go to our nursery. Then from the nursery they go to the baskets. And in that section they stay until they're about a year and a half. Then they're taken down here to grow out and then they're grown up to their final size in four years. - I love how you said that this is the fastest growing and it still takes five years. That's crazy. Think we can get a couple pounds and go back to the restaurant? - [Voiceover] Certainly. - The Cass House was built in 1875 by James Cass, the original settler of Cayucos. After a 14 year renovation, it's now a five room inn with a farm to table restaurant and a great outdoor kitchen. So we picked up some abalone from Brad. What do you want to do with it today? - So I'm gonna show you the abalone fish and chips. So these are the four year old abalones. What they do is they shuck them out of the shells, clean them, and then tenderize them. So this is basically a tenderized steak. This is local halibut, and I have it in a brine. I make a mousse so it's basically whipped fish, puréed fish. I chop up the abalone, mix it in, add a little bit of cream and you end up with like a smooth texture, uniform texture. I'm using a piping bag so I can get it into this shape. It's just easiest to roll. You wrap it like this, fold the plastic over, and then we tie both ends and pinch it off. I like to do dishes that give you a sense of where you are. I decided to incorporate abalone because people come to Cayucos to try the abalone. What you get from there is little sections of abalone and fish mousse. - So the next step is frying these bad boys, right? - Exactly. A little bit of squid ink, and then we start whisking the water into the ink. Can add some of the dry ingredients. - Now is this another step in conceptualizing this dish? - Yeah, you know what happened was at one point we were doing a dish with beets and so we just incorporated the beet purée into the batter. And it made it bright red, but it was just kind of weird. - Right. - You know to have red fish and chips. But the idea was neat. We were like okay we can play with the color that's something else you can bring to a plate. - [Voiceover] You gotta love kitchen improv. - Yeah for sure, and that's all it was it was fully trial and error and just happened to work out. We're gonna take the mousse, toss it into the batter. So we have the fish all coated in the batter. We're just gonna fry it off. So that's basically it. That's your fish portion of our fish and chips. - That looks incredible. I gotta taste one. - Let's do it. - Great contrasting colors. Really airy batter. Little bit of a texture from the abalone. - When we first bring it out and explain to people what it is they're kind of shocked. They're like that doesn't look like any fish and chips I've ever seen. And so we have to explain it to them. - Thank you so much for having me chef. Really cool take on fish and chips. Me and my wife are huge foodies so we'll definitely be coming back to the Cass House Inn. - All right, we'll look forward to it. - Thank you. You'll see mussels growing here in Cayucos and all along the Pacific coastline. And this is one of my favorite ways of making them. So the first thing I'm gonna do is mince up my shallots. Just make a few slices into the flesh of the shallot. I'm gonna cross section it. By mincing the shallot, I'm really just adding flavor to it. As I'm cutting you can see how fine this cut really is. Put it right into the ramekin. Now I'm gonna mince up my garlic. Just gonna smash it down. Just get rid of all that tough skin. Garlic and mussels is just a given. Now I'm gonna start chopping my parsley and zesting my lemon. It's such a neutral flavor, you know I just really enjoy working with parsley. It doesn't get the credit it deserves. All right parsley's done, now I'm gonna zest the lemon. Get my trusty dusty microplane. I love this thing. This is gonna go directly in the broth. Just to finish, give that beautiful zesty flavor. That should be enough lemon zest. Now I'm gonna turn my grill on. That is feeling really really hot, exactly where I want it. I'm gonna add my shallots and my garlic with the olive oil. See if we can give this a quick stir. That's smelling really good. All right those are sweating beautifully. Now I'm gonna add my Cidre. About a cup is good. So obviously the alcohol will burn off. It's gonna leave us with a nice crisp flavor. Now that we have the broth going, I'm gonna add some butter and it's gonna give it some body. So while I'm waiting for this to reduce I'm gonna slice up a baguette because there really is nothing that goes better with mussels and broth than a nice piece of bread. Nice big chunk so you can sop up all that beautiful broth that you have. That should be good right there. And last but not least I'm gonna add some chili flakes to this broth to give it a really nice spicy kick. So the broth is looking really good. I'm gonna oil my bread and throw it on the grill. You don't wanna go too crazy when you're oiling, but you want enough just so it gives that nice sizzle. A little bit of salt and pepper, then right onto the grill they go. Now let's throw in our mussels. One thing you should consider when using mussels is that if these guys stay open, they're no good throw them out. But if you give them a few squeezes and they clamp back shut, it means they're alive. Now I'm gonna throw these into my broth. And give these a minute or so or until they pop open that's when you know they're done. Check on my bread, nice and crispy. Got that char flavor going on. So I'm gonna take the lid off. These guys are ready to go. Gonna add my last minute garnish, a little bit of lemon zest and parsley. Give that a quick stir. Plate it out. Put a few pieces of crispy toasted bread and I'm gonna give this a try. This is actually the way the Belgians eat it. I'm just gonna use one of these as basically my fork. See that? Works perfectly. Nice sweet flavor going on with the broth. One thing I really love about mussels, especially cooking with the broth is that as they cook they open their shells and release some of that ocean flavor into the broth, making it almost like a mussel stock. And I really like this style of eating. Very cool. Thank you guys so much for watching. Join me next week as I head to the east coast.

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