While the wind and rains whipped through our fair city yesterday, I was not curled up at home with a glass of wine and a lapful of kitties; no, I was on the 52nd floor of a midtown office building, hard at work at The Job That Pays the Bills. Mike offered to take care of dinner, but since he had been editing all day (as well as putting together a batch of brown chicken stock, whose divine aroma greeted me when I walked in the door), I told him that I would handle it. I had something simple planned anyway, and though I was bone-tired, I knew that putting our meal together would do me good. I’ve got more long, busy days ahead of me this week and I don’t know how much time I’ll be spending in the kitchen, but at least I can say I finished last night on a high note.
Ale-Steamed Mussels with Bacon
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
4 slices bacon, sliced into thin batons
3 large shallots, sliced
1 1/2 cups Belgian-style Ale (I used Ommegang Abbey Ale)
2 teaspoons Colman’s mustard powder
Place bacon into a hot, heavy bottomed pot and cook over medium heat until well-browned. Add shallots and saute until they are beginning to caramelize. Add ale and mustard and stir well to combine. Add mussels, shake the pan a few times and cover. Allow the mussels to cook several minutes until they are opened; discard any mussels which do not open.
Serve this with plenty of crusty bread or rolls to soak up the rich broth.