Celebrate National Seafood Month with This Sustainable Recipe: Mussel Chowder - Oceana USA
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October 1, 2014

Celebrate National Seafood Month with This Sustainable Recipe: Mussel Chowder

October 1 kicks off National Seafood Month, a time to raise awareness for sustainable fisheries and celebrate the benefits of seafood in one’s diet. Oceana focuses on sustainable seafood all year long through various campaigns, from the Save the Oceans, Feed the World campaign—which advocates for rebuilding healthy fisheries for a growing global population to enjoy seafood meals—to Oceana’s Seafood Fraud campaign, which advocates for traceability and accurate labeling in the supply chain.

To celebrate National Seafood Month, Oceana will be spotlighting one sustainable seafood recipe and chef on The Beacon every week. Rick Moonen’s delicious Mussel Chowder debuts as the first recipe, and stay tuned for more!

Rick Moonen’s Mussel Chowder

Serve this with big, flaky biscuits. Serves 8.

For the mussels: 

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons minced shallots or onion

3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

2 cups dry white wine

For the chowder:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups finely chopped onions

2 cups finely chopped leeks (white and some light green parts)

1 cup finely chopped carrots

1 cup finely chopped celery

2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf, and the green from 1 leek, tied together with kitchen string

for an herb bouquet

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons Madras curry powder (or your favorite blend)

3 cups quick vegetable stock

1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice (bout 1 ½ cups)

2 large red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/3-inch dice

1 cup heavy cream

Juice of 1 lemon (zest the lemon for garnish before juicing it)

For garnish: 

Grated zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives

For the mussels:

Put the oil, garlic, and shallots or onion in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for just a minute or two, until the shallots or onion are softened and the garlic fragrant – you definitely don’t want to brown this. Crank the heat up to high, add the mussels and white wine, and cover the pan. Cook, giving the skillet a solid shake a few times, until the mussels open, six to seven minutes. Set a strainer over a large bowl and pour the mussels into the strainer. Save that beautiful liquid for the chowder.

For the chowder:

Melt the butter in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, leeks, carrot, celery, and herb bouquet and season with salt and black pepper (be careful with the salt; the mussel liquid will be salty).

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