I was recently invited by the Mussel Industry Council (MIC) to attend a sustainable seafood presentation at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Cambridge, MA.
The event was coordinated by the Consulate General of Canada in Boston together with MIC and the Lobster Council of Canada to showcase Canadian mussels and lobster.
Chef Alain Bossé, The Kilted Chef, and Chef Jose Duarté, executive chef and owner of Taranta led an informative and entertaining demonstration while students helped prepare and serve samples.
The chefs shared their photos and experiences of visiting a mussel farm in Prince Edward Island. They gave praise for the sustainability and quality of the Canadian-farmed mussels with special mention of the consistency in their plumpness and size, sweetness and texture.
Not only do mussels contain ultra-healthy levels of protein, iron, antioxidants, zinc, vitamin C and selenium – they are so easy to prepare.
The Canadian Seafood Survey found that people aren’t eating enough seafood – in particular, Canadians consume shellfish less often than finfish, with 24% saying they never eat it.
I took some photos of the creative mussel dishes served which I’ve shared below – along with the recipes as created by Chef Bossé. I hope they inspire you to experiment with this nutritious protein.
Citrus Honey Canadian Farmed Mussel Salad
- 1-2 lbs Fresh Canadian farmed mussels
- 1⁄4 cup Yellow peppers diced
- 1⁄4 cup Red peppers diced
- 1⁄4 cup Red onions diced
- 2 oz Arugula
- A few sliced smoked almonds
- ½ oz Crumbled goat Cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Citrus Honey Vinaigrette
- ½ Shallot, chopped finely
- ½ cup Honey
- ½ cup Freshly squeezed lemon zest
- Juice and zest of ¼ of a lime
- ½ cup Vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Chopped Italian parsley or chives to taste
Put mussels in a small pot. Add wine, green onions and garlic. Cover and steam for about 3 to 5 minutes on high heat until mussels open Let cool and remove the mussels from the shells.
Vinaigrette: In a bowl mix mustard, salt, pepper and garlic. Add honey, lemon juice, shallots and oil and whisk until it emulsifies. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. (For best results prepare vinaigrette the day before.) Toss the mussels with the arugula, peppers and onions and dress with the vinaigrette, top with goat cheese and sliced almonds, garnish with chopped chives and lemon zest.
Thai Sweet Chili Canadian Farmed Mussels
- 2 lbs Fresh Canadian farmed mussels
- 2 oz White wine
- 1 tsp Finely chopped red onion
- ¼ Lime
- 3 tbsp Sweet chili sauce
- 2 tbsp Fresh chopped cilantro
Place mussels in a sauté pan. Add the white wine, red onion, sweet chile sauce and cilantro. Squeeze the juice from the lime into the mixture and drop it on top. Cover pan and allow to steam until the mussels start to open. Stir occasionally to ensure the chili sauce coats all of the mussels. Serve in a large bowl with your favourite bread for dipping.
Atlantic Canada Lobster and Mussel Bruschetta
- ½ lbs Fresh Canadian-farmed mussels
- ½ lbs Atlantic Canada hard shell lobster meat chopped
- ¼ cup Red onion, finely chopped
- ½ oz Fresh basil, finely chopped
- 4 oz Olive oil
- 1 tsp Coarse sea salt
- 2 Cloves of fresh garlic, rasped for best results
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Serve on your favourite toasted and buttered crusty bread. Crumble feta cheese on the top then broil and garnish with chives and lemon.
Thank you to MIC, the Consulate General of Canada in Boston and the Lobster Council of Canada for inviting me to share in this culinary and learning experience.
Mussels are can be found produced locally in Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and in British Columbia. Try some today!
To learn more about mussels and to find Canadian growers visit our Canadian Farmed Mussels webpage.