Recipe from David Grossman, Branch Water Tavern, Houston

Crispy Garlic

2 heads garlic
2 cups whole milk
water as needed
3 cups canola oil (for frying)

Peel the garlic and remove the germ. Slice thin on a Japanese mandolin or by hand. Combine sliced garlic and milk in a 1 1/2—quart saucepot. Bring to simmer and drain. Add enough water to cover and bring to simmer again in same pot. Drain and repeat one more time. Lay blanched garlic on paper towels to cool. Heat oil in a 1 1/2—quart saucepot to 250 and slowly add garlic. Turn up heat to medium high but oil should never get above 325. Fry until lightly golden. Using a wire skimmer, remove garlic from oil and season with sea salt immediately. Leave on paper towels to cool.

Grilled Country Bread

2 slices country bread
extra virgin olive oil as needed
fine sea salt as needed
pepper mill as needed

Heat grill on medium high. Lightly coat country bread with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill until browned and crisp.


2-ounce slab bacon, diced
1 teaspoon diced shallot
15 mussels
2 teaspoons harissa paste
2 tablespoons whole butter
1/2 cup Riesling
sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped
1/2 lemon (for juice)
2 teaspoons Crispy Garlic (see recipe)
2 slices Grilled Country Bread (see recipe)

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add diced bacon and cook, stirring often until bacon is browned. Add shallots and sauté until translucent. Add mussels, harissa, butter, and Riesling and cover pan and steam until mussels are opened and cooked. Add herbs, lemon juice, and Crispy Garlic. Serve in a bowl with Grilled Country Bread.