The restaurant Paradou, in the meat-packing district, was one of the highlights of my 10-part series New York City’s best cheap prix fixe French menus. You won’t find a more authentic or flavorful bouillabaisse than the one Paradou turns out.
The same plump mussels found in that seafood stew receive star billing in the house’s equally fabulous mussels with roasted potatoes. The dish, which is designed as a first course, can also be pressed into service as a main course by doubling the amount of mussels.
Paradou’s Mussels with Roasted Potatoes
- 4 large Yukon Gold or russet (baking) potatoes (2 lbs total)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried, hot red pepper flakes
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 lb mussels, scrubbed well and beards removed
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 450ºF.
- Halve potatoes lengthwise and trim a 1/4 inch slice from the side opposite cut side of each potato half to form 8 flat slabs (1/2 – 3/4 inch thick). Coat potato slabs with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Arrange in a single layer in a large shallow baking pan and roast in middle of the oven. Turn over once halfway through roasting until golden brown and tender, 25 – 30 minutes total.
- Shortly before potatoes are done, cook shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes in 2 tablespoons of oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until softened (about 3 minutes). Add wine and water and bring to a simmer.
- Add mussels and cook, covered, over moderately high heat until the shells just open. Check frequently after 3 minutes and transfer opened mussels to a bowl. Discard any mussels that have not opened after 6 minutes of cooking.
- Whisk parsley and remaining 2 tablespoons oil into mussel broth and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide potatoes among four shallow bowls and top with mussels and broth.
Yield: 4 servings
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