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Mussels, oysters and sauces, oh my!

Chef Matt Dean Pettit is back with a brand new cookbook. The Great Shellfish Cookbook takes any level of home cool on a delicious food tour with a focus on Matt's favourite kinds of shellfish. The book is so much more than recipes; it is full of Matt's tips about buying, storing, and cooking it.

He dropped by the Your Morning kitchen to showcase some of those delicious recipes, which you'll find below.

Melted Cheesey Mussels

I think I may love cheese as much as I love lobster (as you may have realized from some of the other
Recipes in this book).

In this recipe, I like to use Spanish Manchego, which is made from sheep’s milk. It’s a medium-hard cheese and packed with flavour. Typically, it’s aged for a minimum of 60 days and up to 2 years.

If you love cheese as much as I do, and if you find yourself visiting Toronto, be sure to seek out my good friend and maître fromager Afrim Pristine, the co-owner of Cheese Boutique. His place is a real treasure. it’s filled with every kind of cheese imaginable, as well as cured meats, crackers, hot foods, and more! He even contributed a recipe to this cookbook

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to the high broiler setting and place one of the oven racks in the second-highest position. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Clean the mussels under cold, running water. Remove any hair connected to the mussels and discard any mussels that are completely or even slightly open. Set aside.
  3.  Fill a large saucepan with 1 cup (250 mL) of cold water, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the mussels, cover, and steam for 2 to 3 minutes, or until all the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that do not open.
  4. Once the mussels have cooled, grip the top shell in one hand and the bottom shell in the other
  5. hand, and give a small pull to detach only the top shell. Repeat with the remaining mussels.      
  6. Discard the top shell of each mussel, leaving just the meat in the bottom half of the shell.   
  7. Place the mussels on the prepared baking tray.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, and chili flakes.
  9. Spoon 1 tsp (5 mL) of the cheese mixture into each half mussel, using the back of a separate spoon to pack it in tightly.
  10. Place the mussels under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Watch closely so the cheese doesn’t burn.
  11. Remove the mussels from the broiler, transfer them to a serving platter, and garnish with diced chives. Serve these hot.


Matty’s Seafood Cocktail Sauce

Makes  3/4  cup (175  ML)

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • ½ cup (125 mL) ketchup
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) prepared white horseradish, strained
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) white vinegar
  • 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black  pepper
  • 4 dashes of hot sauce

I’ve been making this recipe for years. I make it almost every other day because it’s the perfect sauce or dip for any hot or chilled shellfish.

If you want to try something fun, add a bit of bourbon or rye whiskey for extra zing!

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In a small bowl, place the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, and stir well. Slowly add the hot sauce, dash by dash, and taste as you go, so you don’t make it too hot.
  2. Transfer the sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

 


Ponzu Sauce

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger

 

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In a medium-size bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until fully combined.
  2. Transfer the sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until fully combined.


Lemon Caper Dip

Makes  3/4  cup  (175  ML)

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • ½ cup (125mL)full-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped capers
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp (2 mL) mustard powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black  pepper

When I was a child, my dad used to make us his classic dip, which consisted of sour cream and dry French onion soup mix. This may sound odd, but eating it with salty plain potato chips made it a complete winner, especially when you’re 8 years old.

Thanks for teaching me how to cook, Dad (wink wink). Try this adult version for your next chip and dip party!

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In a medium – size bowl, place all the ingredients. Mix well.
  2. Transfer the dip to  an air tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.