It's always good to have something in the freezer that can make for a quick, low-fuss meal on a busy day. A good quality, frozen pizza (there are now a range of good options) is an obvious choice, but even we can grow weary of pizza (true story). That's why our freezer always has a box of mussels frozen in broth on hand to provide a quick, healthy, and delicious option.
If we pull out a box for dinner on a day we've already had our quota of bread (yes, we have such a quota) we tend not to grab more just to soak up the delicious broth that is left over once the mussels are all eaten up.
But throwing out the broth seemed like such a damn waste. So we tried using it several ways, including it in pasta and sauces. Unfortunately, this always resulted in extremely salty dishes.
We finally hit on the winning formula for using up this delicious broth - poaching fish! It was one of those magical moments, where the first time we made this dish, it was outrageously good.
1 strip bacon, chopped fine 1 leek (2 to 3 inches) julienned
1/4 dry white wine. 1 cup mussel broth 7g dried chanterelle mushrooms (half a package), soaked in just enough water to cover them overnight, keep the soaking liquid
6-8 cod cheeks
1. Fry finely chopped bacon in a pan until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel.
2. Add half of the julienned leeks to the pan and fry until caramelized and crispy. Set aside on a paper towel. Drain the bacon fat from the pan, and give the pan a wipe with a ball of paper towel to remove fat - be careful not to burn yourself. 3. Return the pan and add dry white wine and let simmer for about 3 min to let it reduce a little. Add mussel broth, chanterelle mushrooms, and the mushroom soaking liquid. Add the remaining uncooked leeks. Cover and simmer until leeks start to get tender.
4. Nestle cod cheeks and bacon into the pan. Cover and let poach 5 - 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of your cod cheeks.
5. Serve in a shallow bowl. Place the cod cheeks in the centre of the bowl and fill the bowl with poaching liquid, mushrooms, bacon, and poached leeks. Place charred leeks in a pile on top of the cod cheeks.
Enjoy with crusty, buttered bread.