Broiled Mussels with Chive Foam

by Megg

Post image for Broiled Mussels with Chive Foam

Here’s one of the recipes from my opera-themed cocktail party for my sister.  As I mentioned in that post, I recently got a molecular gastronomy kit.  That’s right… I’ve found the grown-up, edible version of the chemistry kit I so loved as a child.  For this recipe, I made a foam.  Flavored foams, or air as they’re sometimes called, are fairly easy to make.  The only “weird” ingredient is soy lecithin, which isn’t too hard to find.

I’d never had a foam before, and knew I wanted something with color for this recipe (since I think white or yellow-y foams tend to look like spit).  The chive foam has a nice, light green color… imitating sea foam, which is what I was looking for.  Eating the foam played tricks on the mind: there’s a delightfully fresh, clean chive flavor, but you haven’t chewed anything… so strange!  It really is a wonderful way to add subtle flavor to a dish.  It made me understand why these are so popular, even if they do look weird sometimes.  It’s not just for show; it adds to the culinary experience!

Even if you’re not up to making the foam, these mussels are great without it.  I started by steaming them in wine, spreading each with a garlicky butter mixture, letting the butter firm up in the fridge (making them great for the party since I could prep them ahead of time), and then broiling them.  Easy and delicious!


Broiled Mussels with Chive Foam

—inspired by Smitten Kitchen

Broiled Mussels with Chive Foam

A flavorful, easy recipe inspired by the sea. If you don’t have the means (or the desire) to make the foam, just sprinkle the finished mussels with some chopped chives instead.
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced shallots
  • 3 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 2 lbs mussels
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly
  • ¼ cup minced parsley
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • ⅔ cup chopped chives
  • 2 grams soy lecithin

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté shallots and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil until just softened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
  2. Clean mussels. In a medium saucepan, bring wine to a boil over medium heat. Add mussels and cover.
  3. Steam mussels over high heat until they open, about 3-5 minutes. Immediately use a slotted spoon to transfer mussels to a large broiler safe pan. Remove and discard the top shell of each mussel. Carefully use a sharp knife to cut the muscle holding the meat to the bottom shell (without removing the meat altogether). Arrange in rows in roasting pan.
  4. Add butter and parsley to the bowl of shallots and garlic and mash into a paste. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread each mussel with a bit of butter mixture. Place mussels back in roasting pan as they were and refrigerate until butter solidifies.
  6. Preheat broiler. Broil mussels for about 2 minutes, or until butter is melted and bubbling. Serve right away with chive foam.
  1. Blend chives and water in a blender. Transfer to a square glass or hearty plastic container. Whisk in milk.
  2. Whisk in soy lecithin. Blend with an immersion blender until foam forms. Serve immediately.

Photo by Uthman Shabazz.

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  • ping

    Wow! That looks amazing! Certainly something to show off at a party. I saw a mini gastronomy kit at the shops the other day and wondering whether I should get one … still thinking about it… not cheap. I’m betting there’s gonna be a lot more “foamy” posts coming! Feast for the eyes!

    • Megg (PopArtichoke)

      Thanks Ping! Yeah, the kit was about $50 but comes with a lot to get started.. so much fun that it seemed worth it to me!

  • Kyle Ferguson

    That foam looks soupy and limp. how many nitro carts did you use? I just picked up a sub par cheap foamer so I’m worried about making soupy dollops or watery lame foam. Did you chill yours or shake it? Please share your experience.

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