Wine Pairing Recipes: Wild Salmon & Mussels

musselsFor this year’s Open That Bottle Night, we decided an Anaba Coriol White Rhône Blend would pair nicely with our local Gulf Coast seafood. As usual, Joe prepared a fabulous meal — this time of Almond Encrusted Salmon with Blood-Orange Vinaigrette; fresh Gulf Coast Mussels with a shallot Muscadet reduction, and a spinach-chevre salad. The blood-orange vinaigrette brought out a zesty orange-peel citrus in the wine, that combined well with its notes of floral and citrus.

The menu was such a perfect pairing to the wine, we thought we would publish the recipes, so you could try them as well! Here are Joe’s recipes!

Almond Encrusted Salmon 

1 large salmon fillet (wild caught)
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup of slivered almonds
salt and freshly ground (pepper to taste) 

Lay your salmon fillet out on a sheet pan, skin side down. Use a clean towel or paper towel to blot the fish to get it as dry as possible. Coat the exposed part of the fish evenly with the maple syrup and then season with the salt and pepper. Lightly press the almonds into the syrup. Let stand for 10 minutes and then broil on an upper rack until the almonds are toasty and the fish is barely cooked, this should take 10 to 15 minutes. Take care not to burn your nuts, which can be quite unpleasant, or to overcook the fish. Loosely cover with foil and let stand for 5 minutes.


2 lbs fresh mussels (rinsed and tonsorially prepped)
1 head of garlic (very thinly sliced)
2 shallots (finely diced)
1 bottle of Muscadet
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup chopped fresh parsley (curly or flat leaf, whichever you prefer; I use curly)
1 stick of butter
1 cup of heavy cream
5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot or high-sided pan, melt about ¼ of the butter over med-low heat. Toss in the garlic and shallots with a pinch of salt and allow to sweat for about 5 or 6 minutes, taking care to NOT let them get any color at all. In fact, they should be losing color and start to become translucent. Add the thyme and the bay leaves and then turn up the heat to med-high, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds. Pour in about 2/3 of the bottle of Muscadet and the lemon juice and wait for it to come to a boil.

While you wait, I highly recommend having a small glass of the wine just to make sure it tastes good.

Let the liquid boil relatively gently for few minutes to let the flavors come together well and then add the mussels and cover. The mussels are done when they are all open, which happens very quickly — usually in about 5 minutes. Remove the mussels from your pot and place them in a large bowl, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and cover with some foil to keep them warm. Let the liquid continue to cook and reduce about 5 more minutes after adding the lemon zest. Pour in the cream and the remove from the heat as soon as the liquid returns to a boil. Start mixing in the remaining butter in shifts, about ¼ at a time. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour liquid over the mussels and serve immediately. Make sure to have plenty of crusty bread for soaking up the sauce. 

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

3 large blood oranges
1 cup of Muscadet
4 or 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 clove of garlic (sliced)
1 shallot (chopped)
1 cup olive oil

In a sauce pan, pour in a small amount of olive oil (or a pat of butter if you prefer) and add the garlic and shallot with a pinch of salt. Let them sweat until translucent and soft. Add the sprigs of thyme and the Muscadet, then turn the heat up to just more than a simmer. Reduce by half, then add the zest of one blood orange and the juice of all three. Continue to reduce for about 10 minutes to intensify the flavors and slightly thicken the liquid. Strain and allow it to cool and then slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Serve over the salmon.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. If you’re interested in pairing these dishes with the Anaba Coriol White Rhône Blend, use this special code on their order form AWB0309 (click the Enter Discount Code for a little pop-up box once on the order form site) for 15% off any purchase of 6 bottles or more!


Amy Corron Power, the WineWonkette

~ Amy Corron Power,
aka WineWonkette

Posted in Pairings, Posts, Recipes

Amy Corron Power View posts by Amy Corron Power

A licensed attorney, Amy is a wine-lover, foodie, photographer, political junkie and award-winning author who writes about Wine, Food, Beer & Spirits. As Managing Editor & Tasting Director for Another Wine Blog, she travels all over the world's wine regions to share her experiences with her readers and legions of twitter, Instagram and Facebook friends and fans. Amy holds certifications through the International Sommelier Guild, and is also certified, with honors, as a California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). She is a member of the Guild of Sommeliers, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas and regularly attends Houston Sommelier Association events. Amy is also a contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books, and was most recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude.
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