Madre Hambre, otherwise known as Hungry Mother

picture-6I celebrated my Easter weekend not with a feast of dyed eggs and glazed ham, but succulent mussels from Northern Maine. Even though they were a far cry from the Spanish-styled garlic-sizzled version that I devoured on Sundays at La Casa de España, a local enclave run and frequented by the Spanish community in Santo Domingo, they were the basis of an unforgettable dish I found deep in the dark streets of Cambridge.

It was an unusually chilly April night in a college town known for its carefree youth; yet inside the sophisticated-country-themed Hungry Mother, my dish was serious business. On the plate, the shells were shiny black cocktail dresses that covered silky, fleshy treasures peeking coyly at me. They bobbed in a delicate broth prepared with strips of tasso ham, green onion confetti, toasted breadcrumbs and a collection of Louisiana spices that left a dash of heat on your tongue.

I lifted each mussel from its shell, brought it to my lips and popped its sweet brininess in my mouth. Tearing off a small piece of homemade country bread,  I began a ritual during that memorable meal of soaking up the fragrant broth between each muscled mouthful. Pure bliss.

Take a look at the great stuff these guys are creating in this Cambridge kitchen, and check out their eclectic menu here:

Hungry Mother


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