A Viking cruise might include a delicious seafood with garlic dish, delicious … from the Italian coastline.
Pero Sare’s family has been farming oysters and mussels in the Adriatic waters between Italy and Croatia going back generations. Garlicky, steamed mussels in a succulent saffron-infused sauce reflects the true flavors of the Italian-influenced coastline. This traditional recipe mingles lump crabmeat with these delectable jewels of the sea. Serve with lots of fresh, crusty Italian bread so your diners can sop up all of the luscious, soupy sauce.
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 T shallot, minced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 C fennel bulb, finely chopped, fronds additional for garnish
1/4 C jarred piquillo pepper or roasted red pepper, drained & minced
Kosher/coarse salt, to taste
1/4 C dry vermouth, like Cinzano
1 1/2 C heavy cream
2 pinches saffron threads
1 C lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
4 dozen live mussels, scrubbed and debearded
Place a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat and add olive oil. Add shallot, garlic, fennel and piquillo peppers to hot oil. Cook with a pinch of kosher or coarse salt, stirring often, until fennel has softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add dry vermouth and cook until it has almost entirely evaporated. Add heavy cream and saffron, bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Add in crabmeat and mussels and stir. Cover with lid and simmer for 3-4 minutes; mussels are ready when open. Remove lid and season liquid with more salt if necessary. Transfer mussels to serving bowls and spoon over liquid and vegetables. Garnish with a few pieces of fennel frond and serve with crusty bread to mop up sauce.
Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!