Alright, I am finally back in the swing of things. It has been a crazy April thus far and needless to say I have been delinquent with my blog writing. This past weekend my husband and I went on a wonderful getaway to the stormy West Coast of Vancouver Island. Hiking in the pouring rain with our pup sure worked up an appetite. On our final evening in our beautiful hotel set a top a cliff overlooking the stormy waters below, we had an outstanding dinner! That dinner was the inspiration for this post and last night’s dinner. The chef prepared a massive bowl of fresh mussels served up in a bacon, white wine and garlic cream sauce which is what I tried to re-create. So below is my version of this meal, granted the professional chef at the 5 star restaurant did a far better job but if I do say so myself these mussels were pretty outstanding! Next time I will use more bacon because you can never have enough of that 🙂
Hope you enjoy this simple, rich and quick to make dinner.
- 1 Kg Fresh Mussels (scrubbed and de-bearded) *when buying them make sure they are closed, this means they are fresh*
- 3 Large Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1 Small Shallot (minced)
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 4 – 6 Strips of Smoked Bacon
- 1 Cup Dry White Wine
- 3/4 Cup Cream
- 1 1/2 Tbsps Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tbsp White Pepper
- 1 Handful of Chives (finely chopped)
- 1 Handful of Italian Parsley (finely chopped)
- Seasoning Salt to taste
- In a Large non-stick pot cook your bacon until it is crispy. Set it aside on some paper towel.
- Turn heat down to medium and put in your shallots and garlic and saute them in the bacon grease (approx. 1 minute)
- De-glaze the pot with your wine. Cook until the alcohol evaporates (approx. 8 minutes)
- Add in your Thyme and seasonings.
- Pour in your cream and bring to a boil and let the tastes combine for about 5 minutes.
- Place the mussels in the pot and cook them covered until they open (approx 5 minutes)
- Stir the mussels in the sauce for a few more minutes to let them take on the cream sauce flavor.
- Finely chop up your crispy bacon.
- Toss in the bacon bits, chives and parsley and stir.
- Place everything into a deep bowl and serve immediately.
Bacon is something I only started eating maybe a year ago and in very small amounts. Typically I snag the crispiest piece off my husbands plate, take a tiny bite and place it back before he notices. On the other hand, my husband and pretty much everyone else I know could eat a pound of bacon to themselves. A standard reaction I would get when I said I didn’t like bacon was WHAT?! or What’s wrong with you? To answer that… there isn’t anything wrong but if you have read the section about me, you will know I grew up a VERY picky eater and never tried new things…so learning to cook with new ingredients and trying new things has all been a work in progress.
Ok, enough about me and on to bacon. I recently picked up some organic smoked bacon at the deli and have been trying to think of a creative way to make it for dinner. Last Thanksgiving I made a bacon wrapped turkey which turned out delicious. I wasn’t about to spend 4 hours making a giant bird on a weeknight so chicken was the next best thing! Chicken strips always seem to be a big hit in our house so that is what I decided to make tonight. What turned out was deliciously moist and flavorful seasoned chicken strips lovingly wrapped in crispy bacon. For dipping I made a spicy brown mustard sauce with a bit of coconut sugar (yes it exists and it is an amazing stand in for sugar for us Paleo folks) then I added fresh organic garlic and a little bit of fresh lemon juice.
Now if your saliva glands haven’t gone into overload while these strips are baking, once these amazing treats hit the plate and your taste buds you will understand why both my puppy and husband were anxiously pacing back and forth in front of the oven while they baked.
- 6 Chicken Breasts (cut into strips)
- 1 Pound of Smoked Organic Bacon
- 1 Tsp Cayenne
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tsp White Pepper
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary (finely chopped)
1) Lay your strips on a large cutting board and season with the spices and rosemary.
2) Wrap each piece of chicken with a strip of bacon (Secure it with a toothpick if necessary)
3) Preheat oven to 415F. Place your wrapped strips onto a rack and make sure there is a pan underneath wrapped in tin foil to catch all the bacon drippings.
4) Bake the strips for 15-20 mins. Increase the oven temperature to 475F. Turn your strips over and place back into the oven. Mine only needed 10 minutes more to get crispy on both sides. You may need to adjust the time based on how crispy you want your bacon but remember do not leave it in too long as your chicken will dry out.
5) Remove your strips once they are done and let them sit for a few moments so nobody scalds their tongue with hot bacon 🙂
Serve and Enjoy!