Chef Jasper White’s Summer In Seafood
Jasper White has been cooking in Boston for what seems like forever.
In the early 1980s he presided over some of Boston’s best known hotel kitchens. Then he opened Jasper’s, a fancy restaurant in Boston, which ran for 12 years. He surprised a lot of people when he shut it down and opened Jasper White’s Summer Shack in Cambridge, a noisy clam shack that serves fresh lobster, fish and fried chicken.
We visited him in his kitchen and learn more about one of his mainstays, killer mussels.
Mussels with white wine, garlic and herbs
Serves 4 as an appetizer
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 dried bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons minced shallots (2 large)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
2 cups dry white wine
3 pounds medium mussels, scrubbed, debearded and rinsed
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Heat olive oil in a large, deep saute pan or a medium pot over medium heat. Add the bay leaf and red pepper and saute until they sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and tarragon and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the white wine, increase the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil.
- Add the mussels, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and stir once gently. Cover and cook until the mussels are completely open and firm, about 3 to 4 more minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and gently transfer mussels to a large bowl with a Chinese wire-mesh skimmer or a slotted spoon. Return the pan to the heat and bring back to a boil. When the sauce is at a rolling boil, add the butter piece by piece. Off the heat, stir in parsley and chives.
- Pour the sauce over the mussels and serve immediately.
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