Steamed Mussels with Angostura Bitters and Cochon 555 Heritage Fire [Sponsored Post]

by Irvin on September 4, 2017 · 7 comments

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These steamed mussels with Angostura bitters are a fast and easy sophisticated dinner. Serve with lots of crusty toasted bread to soak up all the liquid! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Steamed Mussels with Angostura Bitters. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

This post was sponsored by The House of Angostura. I was compensated for this post and for developing the recipe as well as provided tickets to the Cochon555 Heritage Fire event. However, all opinions below are completely my own and not endorsed by The House of Angostura.

“In Trinidad they use Angostura bitters like salt and pepper!” said a friend of mine as we stood in the hot Napa heat waiting in line for some roasted meat. I was up in St. Helena, in the heart of Napa Valley, at the Cochon 555 Heritage Fire event. The House of Angostura was a sponsor of the event and had brought my partner AJ and me up to experience all the heirloom roasted meats and vegetables dishes that the amazing California wine country chefs were creating. We drank wine and sipped Angostura mixed with sparkling water as we tried to stay cool from the heat. I love Angostura bitters in my cocktails, it never occurred to me to use it in my cooking until that moment. I made a mental note to try it out when I got home.

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

The Cochon 555 Heritage Fire event had over 50 chefs and butchers grilling and roasting heritage-bread animals and vegetables outside next to the vineyards. It was a spectacular site to see, made even more impressive since that afternoon was 109ºF outside! I chatted with another friend of mine who mentioned that most of the chefs were up and working by 8am, getting the meat ready to be roasted and stoking the flames of the charcoal and wood for the grilling.

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

As the event went on, with loud driving music and the crowd drinking and eating up nibbly bites of goat, lamb, steak, pork and so much more I kept on thinking about how much respect I had for all the chefs and butchers working away behind the tables. Occasionally the music would stop and the DJ would come on to announce that the temperature had dropped from 105ºF to 104ºF. The crowd would cheer in response but more than once I overheard the chefs joke with each other “Not for us!” as they tended to the roasting meat.

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

In the end, the crowd and the chefs still had a great time, despite the heat. Everyone there, in fact, loved the food, the wine, and the drinks tremendously. The crowd was still going strong as AJ and I slipped out to drive back to San Francisco. But not before one more quick drink of Angostura bitters and sparkling water. “It’s so refreshing!” said the woman in line ahead of us to her slightly tipsy friend. I couldn’t agree more.

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa

Cochon 555 Heritage Fire Event 2017 in Napa


Easy and Fast Steamed Mussels with Angostura Bitters. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.
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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Thelida September 4, 2017 at 3:04 pm

I am crazy to make this recipe of cooked mussels, I believe it is very easy to make and very tasty too, this recipe came in good time.

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Kari September 5, 2017 at 10:12 am

What a fun looking event!
Kari
http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

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Mimi September 7, 2017 at 6:15 am

Oh my goodness! It looks like a killing field with all of the hanging birds! When my daughter was ten we went to Chinatown in San Fran and she was so traumatized from all of the birds, turtles, and what not, that she became a vegetarian. She’s now 31 and still a vegetarian! This event would have done her in completely! Beautiful mussels.

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Irvin September 12, 2017 at 2:48 pm

I know! It was definitely striking. There were a few photos that were even more alarming that I chose to omit because they seemed really graphic. I grew up in a Taiwanese household so I’m used to seeing this sort of thing. But if you aren’t I can only imagine Chinatown being really traumatizing!

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Jameson September 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Never thought to cook with Angostura bitters, that’s a great idea. How strong does the flavor come through with 3-4 dashes? Wondering if I dare amp it up.

Also, I can’t believe those chefs survived cooking in that heat.

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Irvin September 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm

You can totally amp it up if you wanted to! I found 3-4 dashes was pretty mild. Just enough to give it a nice undertone. But if you wanted it more pronounced, certainly feel free to add more. But (as you know) bitters are pretty concentrated and potent. So I wouldn’t go overboard…maybe make it once with 5 or 6 dashes and then adjust the next time round per your taste.

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Hack instagram online September 20, 2017 at 5:59 am

You are a very talented person.

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