This article is sponsored by the Birmingham Shopping District.
For the mussels:
1# Maine blue mussels washed and purged
1 bulb fennel sliced
1 pt white wine
5 cloves garlic crushed
2Tbs olive oil
Combine 4 qts of cold water with 5 tbs salt. Submerge the mussels in the saltwater for 30 minutes. Strain water and pull beards from mussels. (the beard is the mass of threads that the mussel uses to hold on to solid surfaces). Heat up an 8 qt pot on high heat and add the oil, fennel, and garlic. As soon as the fennel is sizzling add the mussels and wine and cover pot. Allow the mussels to just open and separate from one side of their shell. Remove from heat and pour onto a tray for cooling. Once cool remove from shell and cold smoke using any smoking device that you have. I use the Polyscience Smoking Gun and for home smoking, this is a fantastic tool for all cooks.
For the squash:
1 lb kabocha or butternut squash
1 pt olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Peel and dice the squash into ¼” cubes. Season with salt and roughly chopped garlic. Submerge in the olive oil in a small pot. Put the pot on the stove and cook on low heat for 15-20 mins or until the squash is tender. Remove from oil, reserve oil for other cooking, and chill
For the sorrel jus:
1 bunch green sorrel (can be found at Plum Market most of the time if you don’t have other access)
½ granny smith apple (any variety will work)
1 cup of water
Add everything to the blender and blend until smooth. Strain out sediment with a fine sieve. Chill and reserve for plating.
For the brown butter crumble:
1lb unsalted butter
200 grams of milk powder
Melt the butter. Add the milk powder. Whisk frequently until the milk solids turn golden brown. Strain and chill.
Heat up a tbs of butter in a pan and allow it to start to become foamy. Add the squash to the pan and stir a few times. Then add the mussels until they become warm. In your serving vessel (a bowl is best) pour a few tbs of the sorrel jus at room temperature. Place the warm squash and mussels over the sorrel jus. Sprinkle the brown butter crumble over the mussels. Garnish with some of the smaller, more tender sorrel leaves. Drizzle the bowl with a fine vinegar for enhanced acidity. Serve.