Tag Archives: mussel chowder

Meal Planning – Week 3

A weekly meal plan is always useful to have. It helps with shopping, meal preparation, healthy eating, meal variety, and can save on the grocery bill. Here is my suggested meal plan for the upcoming week. This is the menu for Week 3.  Click Week 1 and Week 2 to access menus for those weeks. The Week 1 posting also includes information on meal planning in general.

I’ve provided a list of the main ingredients that, for the most part, would probably involve a shopping trip to the supermarket for most. However, as always, read each recipe thoroughly and carefully to create your own list as I have not listed what I consider to be “staple” items like regular milk, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, butter/shortening, oil, spices, etc.

Click on the green hotlinks to access the recipes.

MONDAY

Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread – This is a lovely treat to start off the week. Tuck it in to the lunch bags for a treat at break.

Shopping List: Lemon, pecans

Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

Dinner:  Rich and Hearty Goulash Soup with Whole Wheat Biscuits

This soup is the full meal deal – very filling and flavorful.

Shopping List: For the Soup – Ground beef, onion, celery, carrots, rutabaga, parsnip, potatoes, zucchini, garlic, tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, ketchup, beef stock (click here for my recipe), red wine vinegar. For the Biscuits – All purpose and whole wheat flours, buttermilk

Goulash Soup
Rich and Hearty Goulash Soup

There’s nothing like a wholesome homemade biscuit and these whole wheat biscuits go really well with the Goulash Soup.

Whole Wheat Biscuits
Whole Wheat Biscuits

Dessert: Apple Crisp

No matter the season, this old faithful dessert will always meet with satisfaction. Pure comfort food at its best!

Shopping List: Apples (e.g., any combo of Cortland, Honeycrisp, Humes, Gingergold), rolled oats, pecans, lemon juice

Apple Crisp
Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

TUESDAY

Dinner:  Pork Loin Roast with Pomegranate, Red Wine, and Black Garlic; serve with Potato Patties and medley of roasted vegetables of choice

Black garlic is not all that common yet, here on PEI, the garlic grower at Eureka Garlic just outside Kensington produces black garlic. Click here to read the story I wrote on Eureka Garlic’s black garlic.  Not at all the taste you might think – in fact, no garlic flavor at all. Its transformation is more of a cross between a fig and a prune. Goes particularly well with pork.

Shopping List: For Pork Loin Roast – Pork rib roast, garlic, soya sauce, white wine vinegar, shallots, pomegranate molasses, chicken stock, black garlic, balsamic vinegar, red wine, orange juice. For Potato Patties – Potatoes, sour cream chicken bouillon, breadcrumbs.

Pork Loin
Pork Loin Roast with Pomegranate, Red Wine, and Black Garlic Sauce served with Potato Croquettes and Roasted Root Vegetables

These potato patties are such an incredibly tasty way to serve potatoes and they freeze well, too!

PEI Potato Patties
PEI Potato Patties

Dessert:  Date Squares

Date Squares, the perennial favorite with many! These are a yummy treat and they freeze well, too.

Shopping List: Dates, rolled oats, orange juice

Date Squares
Date Squares (aka Matrimonial Squares)

WEDNESDAY

Dinner:  Savory Cottage Pie

Lovely winter time treat, these little pies are packed full of flavor!

Shopping List: Ground beef, onion, carrots, parsnip, celery, green pepper, garlic, mushrooms, tomato paste, tomato sauce, ketchup, canned diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, beef broth, molasses, frozen peas and corn, potatoes, grated cheddar cheese

cottage pie
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Cottage Pie

Dessert: Butter Tarts

When it comes to food, it doesn’t get any more Canadian than these sweet butter tarts! A treat for sure, eh!

Butter Tarts
Butter Tarts

Shopping List: Pie Pastry, general baking supplies + maple syrup, milk/blend/cream 
Butter Tarts

THURSDAY

DinnerMussel Chowder served with Pan Rolls

This chowder is incredibly flavorful. They’ll ask for seconds on this one!

Shopping list: For Chowder:  2 lbs PEI mussels, onion, garlic, white wine, celery, carrots, potatoes, chicken broth, whole milk (or evaporated milk); For Pan Rolls: Yeast + standard baking supplies

PEI Mussel Chowder Paired with Upstreet Brewing Company's Commons Czech Style Pilsner
PEI Mussel Chowder Paired with Upstreet Brewing Company’s Commons Czech Style Pilsner

Nothing better with chowder than fresh homemade rolls, still warm from the oven! Bring on the butter!

Pan Rolls
Pan Rolls

Dessert: Squash Pie

Pick up a butternut squash and make this delectable pie – it’s even better than pumpkin pie and has a deeper flavor. Don’t reserve this recipe just for the autumn – it’s good any time of the year!

Shopping List:  1½ – 1¾ lb butternut squash, pastry for 10” single crust pie, evaporated milk, whipping cream

Squash Pie
Squash Pies

FRIDAY

 Dinner:  Chicken and Mushroom Crepes with Cheese Sauce; serve with favorite green salad

A real special Friday night dinner. These crepes are so tasty with their cheesy sauce!

Shopping List: For crepes – 2 cups cubed cooked chicken, chicken stock, cheese mix (e.g., mozzarella, provolone and parmesan), celery, mushrooms; For salad – lettuce and favorite salad fixings and dressing.

Chicken and Mushroom Crepes with Cheese Sauce
Chicken and Mushroom Crepes with Cheese Sauce

Dessert: Leftover Squash Pie

Squash Pie
Squash Pie

SATURDAY

Dinner: Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rice

Fresh asparagus works best in this chicken dish.  Super yummy and looks great when it is sliced with the rings of the asparagus being very showy!

Shopping List: Boneless skinless chicken breasts, Boursin cheese, fresh asparagus spears, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, rice.

Asparagus
Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Dessert: Blueberry Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier Sauce

Oh là-là, how many different ways can you say “yummy”? This moist and flavorful bread pudding will have them calling for seconds!

Shopping List:  For Pudding: 1 – 1lb loaf of soft French bread, whole milk, maple syrup, 2 cups high-bush blueberries (fresh or frozen). For Sauce: Grand Marnier, corn syrup

Blueberry Bread Pudding
Blueberry Bread Pudding

SUNDAY

 Sunday Breakfast: Special Treat – Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Buns

DinnerCranberry and Ginger Sauced Pork Chops; serve with baked potato and medley of favorite steamed vegetables

Jazz up pork chops with a tasty and colorful cranberry and ginger sauce.

Shopping List: Pork Chops, chicken broth, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, cranberry preserve/jam, mustard, onion

Pork Chops
Cranberry and Ginger Sauced Pork Chops

Dessert: Leftover Blueberry Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Blueberry Bread Pudding

I hope you have found some interesting recipes from my food blog to try this week!

For other weekly meal plans from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Week 1 Meal Plan

Week 2 Meal Plan

 

My Island Bistro Kitchen’s PEI Mussel Chowder

My Island Bistro Kitchen's PEI Mussel Chowder
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s PEI Mussel Chowder

Mussels are a favorite shellfish of mine and, while I love them steamed in various different broths, today I am presenting them in the form of Mussel Chowder and I’m sharing my own personal recipe.

Steamed PEI Mussels
PEI mussels steamed in basil pesto with white wine, onion, and garlic

PEI mussels are world famous and PEI is the country’s largest mussel cultivator. According to the Mussel Industry Council of Prince Edward Island, the Island produces some 45 million pounds of mussels annually and grows 80% of Canada’s mussel production.  Fresh PEI mussels are shipped to the USA, Hong Kong, Japan, and Kuwait. We may be Canada’s smallest province but mussel farming on PEI is big “muscle” and big business. I love checking out restaurant menus when I travel around the world and seeing PEI mussels on the menu!

PEI Mussels Steamed in Beer

The blue mussels that come from PEI are farmed mussels meaning they don’t come from the sea bottom but, rather, they are grown in mesh sleeves, known as “socks”.

Mussel Sock
Mussels in the Sock in Which They are Grown

On the day I publish this mussel chowder recipe for the first time, it is Food Day Canada, a day set aside each year to celebrate all the great Canadian foods we enjoy.  Here, in PEI, I have no shortage of local food options to choose from but, this year, it’s all about the mussels.

PEI Mussels
PEI Mussels Steamed in Rhuby Social Beer from Upstreet Craft Brewing

Mussels are more tender than clams and less gritty.  They are readily available on the Island at seafood outlets and supermarkets and are commonly served at gatherings on PEI.

PEI Mussels Served at Many Gatherings
Steamed PEI Mussels Served at Many Gatherings

Mussels are an affordable seafood and are quick, easy, and fast to prepare.  Steam them in liquid (even plain water) for 7-10 minutes, till the shells open. Dip these tasty little morsels in melted butter and oh-là-là! I like them steamed in beer, white wine, or apple juice with some garlic and fresh herbs.

PEI Mussels

Mussels are a great power food. They are low in fat and rich in vitamins and minerals.  They are also gluten-free and are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

There are many different styles of mussel chowder and just as many ways to make it.  My mussel chowder is luxuriously rich, thick, creamy, and packed with wonderful flavor.

Begin by sweating some onion, celery, carrot, and garlic in butter to release the wonderful aromatics.  Add the flour and blend into the vegetables. This roux will thicken the chowder. Add the reserved mussel broth, chicken broth,  white wine, and some good PEI potatoes. Pour in some milk to make the chowder nice and creamy. Finally, add in the steamed mussels, and fresh herbs.

Serve with crusty rolls, traditional homemade biscuits, whole wheat biscuits, or garlic or artisan bread.

My Island Bistro Kitchen's PEI Mussel Chowder
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s PEI Mussel Chowder

My local beverage pairing for this chowder is the Commons Czech Style Pilsner produced by PEI’s Upstreet Craft Brewing in Charlottetown. This is a clean, crisp lager that pairs well with mussels. You can read the story I previously wrote about this artisan brewery by clicking here.

PEI Mussel Chowder Paired with Upstreet Brewing Company's Commons Czech Style Pilsner
PEI Mussel Chowder Paired with Upstreet Brewing Company’s Commons Czech Style Pilsner

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

My Island Bistro Kitchen’s PEI Mussel Chowder

Ingredients:
2 lb PEI mussels, washed and beards removed
1½ tbsp butter
¼ cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup white wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2-3 tbsp butter
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup peeled and diced potatoes
3 tbsp flour
1 cup reserved strained mussel broth
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1½ cups whole milk or a combination of evaporated milk and whole milk
1 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
½ tsp fresh dillweed, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter
Salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Method:
To steam the mussels, melt butter in large stockpot over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Add the white wine, parsley, and thyme.  Bring to a boil.  Add the mussels. Cover. Steam for approximately 5-7 minutes, or until the mussel shells have opened.  Set aside 4 mussels in their shells to use as garnishes, then remove the mussel meat from the remaining shells, discarding any shells that have not completely opened.  Store mussels in refrigerator until needed. Strain the broth through a fine sieve and set aside.

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt the second amount of butter over medium heat.  Reduce heat slightly and add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic.  Sweat the vegetables, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, just until the onion is transparent.

Reduce heat to low. Add the flour to make a roux and stir to blend with the vegetables.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and scorching.  Gradually add the reserved mussel broth, chicken broth, and white wine, whisking constantly to work out any lumps. Add the bay leaf and potatoes. Increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for 8-9 minutes or until potatoes are almost fork tender.

Remove about ¼ cup of the hot liquid from pot and stir into the milk to temper it.  Pour tempered milk into hot mixture and stir to combine well.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the steamed mussels, fresh herbs, and butter. Cook for 4-5 minutes until mussels are heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove and discard bay leaf. Ladle chowder into bowls and garnish each with a steamed mussel, fresh herbs, or chopped chives. Serve with crusty rolls, biscuits, or artisan or garlic bread.

Yield: Apx. 4 servings

My Island Bistro Kitchen's PEI Mussel Chowder

My Island Bistro Kitchen’s PEI Mussel Chowder

Serving Size: Apx. 4

A hearty and delicious mussel chowder made with world-famous PEI mussels

Ingredients

  • 2 lb PEI mussels, washed and beards removed
  • 1½ tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup peeled and diced potatoes
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup reserved strained mussel broth
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ cups whole milk or a combination of evaporated milk and whole milk
  • 1 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp fresh dillweed, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. To steam the mussels, melt butter in large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the white wine, parsley, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Add the mussels. Cover. Steam for approximately 5-7 minutes, or until the mussel shells have opened. Set aside 4 mussels in their shells to use as garnishes, then remove the mussel meat from the remaining shells, discarding any shells that have not completely opened. Store mussels in refrigerator until needed. Strain the broth through a fine sieve and set aside.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt the second amount of butter over medium heat. Reduce heat slightly and add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Sweat the vegetables, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, just until the onion is transparent.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add the flour to make a roux and stir to blend with the vegetables. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and scorching. Gradually add the reserved mussel broth, chicken broth, and white wine, whisking constantly to work out any lumps. Add the bay leaf and potatoes. Increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 8-9 minutes or until potatoes are almost fork tender.
  4. Remove about ¼ cup of the hot liquid from pot and stir into the milk to temper it. Pour tempered milk into hot mixture and stir to combine well. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the steamed mussels, fresh herbs, and butter. Cook for 4-5 minutes until mussels are heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove and discard bay leaf. Ladle chowder into bowls and garnish each with a steamed mussel, fresh herbs, or chopped chives. Serve with crusty rolls, biscuits, or artisan or garlic bread.
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Famous Island Shellfish Featured at PEI Mussels on the Hill Event

On a lovely Sunday afternoon on a hill in beautiful Clinton, PEI, the 2016 PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival came to a conclusion with a finale event featuring one of PEI’s finest shellfish – mussels.

The photo below shows an example of the mussel sock in which mussels grow.

Mussel Sock
Mussels in the Sock in Which They are Grown

According to the PEI Mussel Industry Council of PEI, the Island produces about 45 million pounds of mussels each year. This translates into approximately 80% of the entire mussel production in  Canada. So, it is only fitting that an Island culinary festival would dedicate an entire event to featuring mussels.

Clinton Hills, PEI
Clinton Hills, PEI

The Clinton Hills venue, frequently used for wedding receptions, proved to be a great location for this function which was hosted by guest celebrity chefs Anna and Michael Olson who are no strangers to the PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival. Anna and Michael have been a part of the Festival for many years and often host two to three signature events at the Festival each year.

Chef Anna Olson and Chef Michael Olson
Chefs Anna and Michael Olson

The event began with a large campfire upon which the mussels were steamed.

Steaming Mussels on an Open Fire
Steaming Mussels on an Open Fire

Yes, those tightly wrapped tinfoil packets contain mussels.

Campfire
Tending the Fire

Everything always tastes better cooked over an open fire! Opening up the tinfoil packets revealed these tasty treats. Three options were available: Mussels steamed in white wine, orange juice, or a Caesar mix, all with aromatics added.

PEI Mussels
Steamed PEI Mussels

Mussels and corn on the cob are a great combo!

Mussels and Corn on the Cob
Mussels and Corn on the Cob

Chef Anna is checking out the yummy mussels.

Chef Anna Olson
Chef Anna Olson
Serving up the Steamed Mussels and Corn on the Cob
Serving up the Steamed Mussels and Corn on the Cob

Even chefs, like the rest of us foodies, just have to photograph their food before consuming it!

Chef Anna and Chef Michael Olson
Chef Anna and Chef Michael Olson

Around the campfire….

Around the Campfire
Around the Campfire

Any good party on PEI will have lively music. The strolling musicians were Mark Haines (fiddle) and Brad Fremlin (accordian).

Island Musicians Mark Haines (left) and Brad Fremlin (right)
Island Musicians Mark Haines (left) and Brad Fremlin (right)
Island Musician, Mark Haines
Island Musician, Mark Haines

After enjoying the mussels and corn by the campfire, folks moved over to the large tent just outside the event barn.

Clinton Hills, PEI
Mussels on the Hill Event at Clinton Hills, PEI (2016)

The PEI Brewing Company was serving some of their award winning beer.

PEI Beer
PEI Brewing Company Beer

Nova Scotia’s Benjamin Bridge Winery was the 2016 wine sponsor for the PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival.  They were pouring their famous Nova 7 wine. One of the great things about culinary festivals is the opportunity to discover new products. I discovered the Nova 7 wine at the PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival events in 2015 when Benjamin Bridge was also the wine sponsor.  This wine is an aromatic light-bodied  effervescent wine with a beautiful salmon or light coral color. Look for appealing aromatics with lovely floral and fruit notes in this wine. The Nova 7 is a very versatile wine, perfect for sipping or for pairing with a variety of foods, including seafood which made it a suitable accompaniment to the mussel dishes served at this event.

Nova Scotia Wine
Benjamin Bridge’s Nova 7 Wine

Making my rounds inside the tent, I started with a bowl of delectable homemade mussel chowder.

Mussel Chowder
Mussel Chowder
Chowder
Mussel Chowder

This was followed by yummy mussel fritters served in slider rolls.

Serving Mussel Fritters
Serving Mussel Fritters

I had not had mussel fritters before and these were super tasty!

Mussels
Mussel Fritters

Mussel Fritters in Slider Rolls
Mussel Fritters in Slider Rolls

Upstairs in the main event barn, lobster poutine was being served. This was one event where you wanted to make sure you left the diet at home!

Poutine
Mussel Poutine

Anna and Michael did a demo of their favorite ways to steam mussels and adding aromatics to enhance the flavor of these tasty morsels. I like when the event also has a learning component to it.

Chefs Anna and Michael Olson at Clinton Hills, PEI (2016)
Chefs Anna and Michael Olson at Clinton Hills, PEI (2016)

Wagon rides around the farm were available throughout the afternoon. This was a rather stylish wagon ride with its benches!

Hayride
Hayride at Clinton Hills

If you are a foodie, then I recommend a trip to PEI in September when the whole month is dedicated to culinary events featuring one or more of the Island’s fine foods. It’s a great way to learn about the foods of PEI, try some new foods or new and different ways to serve them, and hear some great local musicians.

To read stories I have written about other PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival events, follow these links:

PEI Shellfish Festival (2012)
Farm Day in the City (2012)
Savour Victoria (2012)
Toes, Taps, and Taters (2013)
Lobster Party on the Beach (2013)
Applelicious (2013)
The Great Island Grilled Cheese Challenge (2013)
Feast of the Fathers (2014)
Lamb Luau at Crowbush Cove (2014)
Feast and Frolic Dinner (PEI International Shellfish Festival) (2014)
Beef and Blues (2014)
A Taste of New Glasgow (2015)
Beef ‘n Blues (2015)
Chef on Board (2015)
Cooking with Chefs Anna & Michael Olson in Brudenell, PEI (2015)
Le Festin acadien avec homard/Acadian Feast with Lobster (2016)
The Great Big Barbeque (2016)

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PEI Fall Flavors Culinary Festival
Chefs Anna and Michael Olson at PEI’s Mussels on the Hill Culinary Event