Valentine’s Day Angel Food, Mussels in White Wine & Garlic with Frites by Carey Boucher Erasmus, perfect with Durbanville Hills Merlot Dry Rosé 2019…

Carey Boucher Erasmuss Mussels in White Wine & Garlic with FritesCarey Boucher Erasmus’s Mussels in White Wine & Garlic with Frites

Such a fabulous dish for Valentine’s Day. Carey says: “The first time I encountered mussels and frites was in Nice, France some years ago. I remember finding it a strange combo but once I tucked in, it became a foodie revelation in my books. Fresh mussels simply steamed in a flavourful white wine and garlic broth served with crispy fries, garlicky aioli and of course, lots of bread for dunking. Absolute perfection!  I think this is a rather romantic meal, very social and sensual with no pretenses.”

Carey’s Mussels in White Wine & Garlic with Frites

Ingredients
1 kg fresh mussels, washed
80 g butter
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 t (5 ml) dried tarragon
2 c (500 ml) fruity dry white wine
+- 2 T (30 ml) chicken or vegetable stock concentrate to taste
zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon (or to taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Handful of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

Frites
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into thin fries
Cooking oil for deep frying

Rosemary Salt
3 T (45 ml) coarse salt
1 sprig rosemary or 2 t (10 ml) dried

Cheat’s Aioli
1/2 c (125 ml) Hellman’s creamy mayonnaise
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
3 T (45 ml) finely chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste

To serve
1 x crusty artisan baguette

Method
In a large pan, heat the butter until bubbling and starts in become golden. Add the garlic, tarragon, white wine and stock and simmer uncovered for +- 20 minutes to develop the flavours and reduce slightly. Season with lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper. Add the mussels to the flavourful broth, cover and allow to simmer and steam for 3- 4 minutes or until ALL the mussels have opened. Discard mussels that have not opened. Add the parsley. Check seasoning again.
Meanwhile, heat the oil for the frites. Make sure the fries are very dry before adding to the hot oil. Fry until golden and crispy. Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Bash the salt and rosemary together until the salt becomes fragrant and sprinkle lightly onto the frites.
Mix the garlic, lemon zest and chives with the mayonnaise and season to taste.
Serve the pan of mussels with seasoned frites, aioli and some crusty bread to mop up the delicious broth.

Recipe and styling: Carey Erasmus
Photography by: Michelle Parkin Photography

Do follow her on her website – http://bitsofcarey.co.za

Durbanville Hills Merlot Dry Rosé 2019

Martin Moore, Founding cellarmaster of Durbanville Hills Winery and his white wine specialist Kobus Gerber have produced what my Australian friends would call a ‘totally smashable’ wine here. Lovely seeing a rosé bottled in clear glass so that you can see the pale coral pink colour of the wine.

Durbanville Hills White Wine Specialist, Kobus Gerber

Pour
From a Burgundy shaped bottle closed with a white screw cap. The label is the classical Durbanville Hills lozenge shape. In the glass, the wine is a beguiling pale coral pink. The aromas are of fraises des bois, rose petals and sliced fresh ripe nectarines. The flavour is of sappy ripe berry fruits, sweet fruited. There is a presence of ripe white fleshed peaches. While there is a golden thread of acidity running through to the aftertaste, and the wine is dry, the fruit is sweet and fresh.

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