Mussels and Pasta à la Goose Island’s Sofie by Chef Kimberly Lallouz
Chef Kimberly Lallouz has carved out an impressive a place for herself in Montreal’s culinary scene.
It started with Miss Prêt à Manger, a local, product-focused take-out counter and catering company in the heart of Montreal. Then she added Monsieur Resto + Bar next door, followed by catering companies Petite Miss Prêt (a non-profit serving children in daycares) and Miss Tennis (which was the biggest restaurant at the Rogers Cup for six years). Her most recent additions are the Birdbar, a fried chicken and champagne restaurant in Griffintown; HENDEN, a speakeasy hidden behind the growth wall in Birdbar’s basement; and MAC Restaurant, in Montreal’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
At the heart of every menu, every dish Lallouz makes, is originality and fresh ingredients – the latter coming from the organic produce she incorporates into all of her work. For someone whose professional career started in the fashion industry, Lallouz has translated her undeniable lover for cooking into a passion that drives her success. And many a gastronomic adventure.
One such gastronomic adventure is her original recipes that pair mussels and pasta with Goose Island Brewery’s vintage ale, Sofie. I asked her about this recipe (which is detailed at the end of this article) and what inspired her to pair mussels with ale.
What was the inspiration behind this dish?
The beer of course! I loved the feminine touch and the bottle as well as the smooth flavour! It inspired me from the first sip. I loved the finesse of it and wanted to present a light but hearty dish to match. You can’t go wrong with P.E.I Mussels and a fresh Goose Island beer.
Do you have any tips for making perfect mussels?
First and foremost is to have a very fresh product and to clean the mussels REALLY well.
Also, use a good amount of sauce to coat the mussels well and really infuse them with flavour.
What about the perfect pasta?
I would say its a personal choice. I often use linguine for a dish with mussels and this recipe would be great with it.
Should we try making our own pasta for this dish?
Fresh pasta is never a bad option in my opinion, but its really about how much time you have to have fun in the kitchen. Fresh pasta is also readily available at most markets so I would say choose your favourite noodle and enjoy!
What is the ideal excuse for making this dish?
Seeing as the dish is sexy, I’d say it’s perfect for a date night dinner! It would also be a lot of fun to add it as a dish to a big table with lots of different items, like a family meal or potluck. The sauce and mussels can easily be warmed up (after being cooked at home); add the pasta at the last minute and you’re good to go!
Mussels and Pasta à la Goose Island’s Sofie
450 g PEI mussels
1 clove garlic, minced
1 clove black garlic, minced
30 g prosciutto
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 tsp shallots, chopped
1/2 cup Sofie ale
1 pinch saffron
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pinch fresh red chili, chopped
Wash mussels thoroughly.
Sauté garlic, black garlic, prosciutto, red pepper flakes and shallots for about 2 minutes on medium-low.
Add the mussels and sauté for another minute. Add a pinch of salt, beer, saffron and half the parsley. Place lid on the pot and steam for about 2 minutes.
Transfer the mussels to a separate bowl and strain the juice into a new pot. Heat on low and whisk in butter until the sauce has emulsified.
Pour the sauce over the mussels and sprinkle with the remainder of the parsley.
Add the mixture to your favourite pasta. In my case, two cups of ricotta gnocchi that were cooked al dente.
Finish with a pinch of chopped fresh red chili for extra spice, a pinch of remaining chopped parsley, if desired, and serve with a nice cold Sofie.
Goose Island’s Vintage Ale, Sofie
Sofie is a sparkling Belgian-style farmhouse ale brewed by Goose Island Beer Co. in Chicago. Aged in old wine barrels with hand-zester orange peels, Sofie has spicy white pepper notes contrasted with tart citrus. Light, refreshing and creamy vanilla finishes the experience, making it reminiscent of Champagne.