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Gourmet Gallery
Appetizers

Mussels Coastal Style

by Executive Chef Robert Kabakoff

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Mussels Coastal Style This dish is a great starter to any warm weather meal. The fresh taste of the mussels paired with the buttery béarnaise sauce will complement any grilled steak or fish dish.

Ingredients

• 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 3 cups P.E.I. Black Mussels (Prince Edward Island)
• 2 Tbs Shallots, minced
• 1 Tbs Garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup Sauvignon Blanc Wine
• 1 Tbs Fresh Herb Mix (thyme, tarragon, basil), rough chopped
• 1 oz. Whole Butter
• 1 each Brioche Crouton, cut ½” x 6” and grilled
• 1/4 cup Béarnaise Sauce (recipe to follow)
• 1 tsp Parsley, chopped
• Cracked Black Pepper, to taste

Preparation                                                                                              
1. Heat sauté pan until hot, then add olive oil and mussels and sauté for 30 seconds.
2. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
3. Add sauvignon blanc wine and bring to a boil.
4. Add herb mix and cover dish with extra pan. Cook until mussels are fully open, approximately 2 minutes.
5. With a slotted spoon, remove mussels and place in a tall pile in center of a hot soup bowl.
6. Keep liquid boiling and reduce liquid as necessary.
7. Remove pan from heat and swirl in butter to reduce liquid.
8. Pour butter sauce over mussels.
9. Place brioche crouton over top of mussels.
10. Dollop Béarnaise sauce over center of crouton, allowing sauce to run into mussels.
11. Sprinkle chopped parsley over mussels to garnish.
 
Yield: Makes 1 appetizer serving to be shared.

Traditional Béarnaise Sauce

Ingredients

• 2 Fresh Tarragon
• 1 Shallot, minced
• 2 Tbs Champagne Vinegar
• 2 Tbs Sauvignon Blanc Wine
• 2 Egg Yolks, small
• 1/4 cup Melted Butter
• Cracked Black Pepper, to taste

Preparation                                                                                               
1. In a sauce pan over medium high heat, add tarragon, shallot, vinegar and wine. Cook until reduced by half.
2. Remove reduction from heat and allow to cool.
3. Beat yolks and combine with reduction in a blender and blend to combine.
4. Slowly stream in melted butter and allow mixture to emulsify.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe courtesy of Partner and Executive Chef of The White Chocolate Grill Restaurants, Robert Kabakoff.  Kabakoff has worked to help further the restaurant’s ingenious concept and continues to be a driving force behind the creation of the menu’s flavor-rich entrées. His responsibilities range from developing new contemporary dishes to maintaining the restaurants’ renowned quality and innovation.  

At a young age Kabakoff realized his love and talent for culinary invention. In 1986 he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, which fueled his passion for cooking and baking. Driven by his brilliant culinary flair, he made his mark at age 25 as the Executive Chef for Troon Golf and Country Club.  Continuing to set an impressive path through the culinary world he worked as the Executive Chef for the Arizona Club and Scottsdale Plaza Resort, Remington’s Restaurant before opening his own restaurants in Bend, Oregon and Chicago, Illinois.    

Adding twists to traditional techniques and recipes, innovation came naturally to Kabakoff. Recognized as a culinary artesian, his long list of accolades include Phoenix’s Chef of the Year, American Culinary Foundation National Champion for Hot Foods and U.S. Chef’s Open Grand Champion to name a few. In addition to his prestigious awards, Kabakoff met strict requirements and was certified Chef de Cuisine.
Giving back to the culinary community, he volunteers his time on the Culinary Institute of America’s Board of Fellows. He also takes time off from the kitchen to support a foundation close to his heart, the Humane Society of Chicago. Kabakoff currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.

For more information, please visit www.whitechocolategrill.com or call (480) 353-2444.




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