â€śWho doesnâ€™t like mussels with French fries and beer?â€ť says chef Ron Eyester, who used the classic trio as the basis for this hearty casserole. At Atlantaâ€™s Rosebud, he pours beers like Houblon Chouffe and Terrapin Rye PA alongside elaborate Southern fare (think Georgia shrimp and grits, and scallops over pineapple-bacon rice) crafted from ultrafresh ingredients. But heâ€™s willing to stretch the freshness factor for this dish: â€śCasseroles are like soup,â€ť he says. â€śTheyâ€™re always at their best three or four days later.â€ť
Makes: 6 to 8Ingredients:
- 25 mussels, bearded and cleaned
- 16 ounces Hoegaarden
- 5 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped and blanched
- 1 yellow onion, julienned
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1⁄2 cup cider vinegar
- 1⁄2 pint heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch saffron
- salt and black pepper, to taste
• Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. In a medium pot with a lid over medium heat, add the mussels, garlic, saffron, beer, chicken broth, paprika, cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Let cook until mussels open, about 8 minutes; discard any that do not. Spoon mussels out of the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Allow the braising liquid to reduce by half, and add the parsley when the liquid is just reduced.
• Remove the mussels from their shells and set aside. Add half the potato and half the onion to the bottom of a lightly buttered ceramic casserole dish. Spoon the mussels over the vegetable layer, sprinkle half the parmesan cheese over the mussels and season to taste. Arrange the remaining potatoes and onions over the cheese. Ladle about 1 cup of the braising liquid over the dish; repeat with the heavy cream. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the remaining parmesan.
• Cover the casserole dish with a lid or foil and bake 45 minutes; uncover, bake for another 10 minutes at 400 degrees and serve.