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Moules frite with potato-leek mousse

Ingredients

Mussels

  • 2 cups (470 ml) Gueuze Lambic beer
  • 2 pounds (908 g) mussels, sorted and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped chervil
  • Salt and pepper

Gaufrette potatoes

  • 1 very large russet potato
  • Oil, for frying
  • Salt

Potato-leek mousse

  • 2 1/2 pounds (1.1 kg) roasted yellow potato, peeled and chopped
  • 4 leeks, bottoms and tops separated, chopped
  • 2 small onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 quart (1 L) whipping cream
  • 1 quart (1 L) milk
  • 1/4 pound (113 g) butter
  • 2 cups (470 ml) mussel cooking liquid
  • 3 N2O chargers
  • Salt

Directions

Mussels

1. In a large pot, combine beer and mussels, cover and steam until just opened, about 2-3 minutes.

2. Using a slotted spoon, remove steamed mussels from the pot and set aside.

3. Strain the cooking liquid through a small strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Reserve and set aside.

4. Remove mussels from shells, toss with olive oil, lemon, herbs to make a salad. Season with salt and pepper.

Potato leek mousse

1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leek whites, onions, garlic and cook until translucent but not brown.

2. Add potatoes, cream, milk, and mussel-beer cooking liquid. Bring to a boil and cook until soft. Season with salt. Blend until smooth in a high speed blender.

3. Add about 1 quart (1 L) to a whipping siphon such as an ISI gun. Charge with 2 N2O chargers and wait 5 minutes, then add 1 more N2O charger. Shake well, keep warm. Reserve remaining soup for another use.

Gaufrette potatoes

1. Peel a large russet potato and cut a flat side. Place the flat side down and slice on the ruffle blade of a mandoline, then turn 90 degrees and slice again to create a waffle pattern. Repeat process to create several fries.

2. Use a 2 inch (5 cm) cookie cutter to trim the waffled potatoes into even rounds (or cut by hand).

3. Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a large heavy pot to 325 F (160 C).  Fry the prepared potatoes for 4-5 minutes, flipping once. Transfer to a lined plate to drain, season with salt.

To serve

1. On a dark plate, make 4 rounds of the mousse in different sizes, following the right curve of the plate, 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) from the side.

2. Place 3 spoonfuls of chilled mussel salad between the rounds of mousse.

3. Lean waffle fries around the mussels and mousse to finish.


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