Thursday, August 30, 2007


Grilled Green Lip Mussels With Tarragon Aioli


Okay, so I went, let's see -- 14 years (?) without eating mayo.

Yup, you read that right. 14 years. I think I was counting calories. Or perhaps...avoiding my fate...

Then, one glorious afternoon, as it sat, glistening in a small ramekin, mixed with chipotle chiles and a touch of parsley - along side some marigold hued sweet potato fries - I started tentatively back in. I never looked back.

In those first few days back from self-restriction-Island, I became a tad bit obsessed. I ranted. I raved. I ate it with a spoon. (Sick! And yet...) I considered slathering it on as a moisturizer. I became a vocal proponent. A knife wielding advocate.

Mayo man, it's da bomb.

Sure, it has some (fantastically) over the top negatives associated with it. Spoiled luncheons. Fat. A certain way of coating the mouth.

But to this lil" blogger, its' the bestest.

I mean come on now kiddies - it's oil! It's a touch of mustard! It's eggs. It's magically delicious.

Pair it with a few of my favorite things (mussels and tarragon) and voila...dining perfection.

A simple sauce, without compare. Livens up briny mussels and makes for a meal to remember.

Fragrant, rich, mouth wateringly divine.

Try this, and enjoy.

2 lbs mussels, cleaned (I used green lip...)
1/2 cup mayo
2 cloves garlic, mashed
pinch of salt
a hearty pinch of minced tarragon
a loaf of rustic bread, sliced thick
olive oil

Combine the mayo, garlic, salt and tarragon. Mash up with a mortar and pestle (or should that read: Mash in a mortar using a pestle? Either or, I suspect you get the idea) or in a food processor. Set aside to rest while you finish up.

Heat a grill to HIGH. Like insanely high. The hottest it will go. Throw on your mussels on the lower bit and the bread (which you have sliced and slathered with oil and pepper.) on the upper rack. Shut the top. (If you don't have two racks...put the bread on some foil to the furthest edges.) Let cook for 3 minutes. When the lil" guys are open, pull them out quick.

Scoop the mussels into a bowl. Top generously with giant glops of that sinful mock-aioli. Serve with bread. Relish the moment. Repeat as needed.


Aioli - a cold egg and oil emulsion with olive oil and garlic. Many variations of this sauce are made. Basically is is a garlic mayonnaise. AAA

Tomorrow is World Blog Day!

In Greece a week of forest fires have have laid waste to at least 454,000 acres of land, most of it in the Peloponnese, the glove-shaped southern peninsula where about a third of Greece's olive oil is produced.
The flames might not devastate the overall olive oil industry in Greece, the world's third-largest producer: Initial estimates indicate about 4 percent of average annual production will be lost. -AP

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I too am a mayo addict. ;) Those mussels look fantastic!
What a pretty green color on the shell.

And all I had to see was the word "tarragon" and I'm hooked--I LOVE tarragon, especially with shellfish.
I (was) with you on the mayo-hating--I think it's b/c I grew up with miracle whip, not mayo. but now...I too must control myself. Those mussels look divine.
Oh Rachael, I adore your writing! And I want those mussels, even if they do have mayo on them! I'm not a huge mayo fan, but I must admit that it has it's place....And that I generally find myself going back for more.....I must admit......
Oh how I was I could get fresh mussels in this part of the country...heck, I'd even settle for some frozen ones! They look great...I'm headed to the Florida Panhandle for a week, and mussels will definitely be on the menu. YUM-O
I won't have a bad word said about mayo. If I were trapped on a desert island and could take only 2 foods, I think they might be mayo and cheese ;-)

Those mussels look fantastic - never thought of adding tarragon but have made not to self to try!
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