I’ve always wanted to make mussels at home, but (until last Friday) I’ve been too scared to. Now that I’ve seen how easy they are to make I’ll certainly be including them in the meal rotation more often. They’re not even expensive, nor do they take a long time to prepare! The scariest part (for me) is scrubbing them and discarding the dead ones. This is the rule I have learned – discard any open ones when you’re cleaning them and any closed ones when they’re cooked. Apparently you can also lightly tap the barely open ones on the counter while you are cleaning them to see if they do tighten and shut completely. I chose not to risk it. I’d rather throw away a few mussels than have food poisoning all weekend. Am I right? I wanted to steam the mussels in a white wine sauce (as opposed to a tomato based sauce) and found dozens of recipes online. Almost all of the recipes included butter, white wine, garlic, onion (or shallots), parsley and a high quality fresh baguette for dipping. Pretty simple yet absolutely delicious. I strongly urge you to try making mussels at home if you haven’t already. The hardest part is cleaning them – and many stores carry ones that have been debearded and cleaned already – so all you need to do is give them a light scrubbing!
Recipe Adapted from Edible Europe
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
2 pounds live mussels, scrubbed and debearded
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
6 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
1. Over medium heat melt butter in a large pot (I used a wok) and cook shallot until translucent.
2. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
3. Turn heat up to high and add the peppercorns, bay leaves, mussels, wine and half the parsley. Make sure the wine comes up 1/2 inch up the sides (otherwise add more). Bring to a boil then cover with lid. Cook until mussels open 6-8 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Place mussels in bowls and then spoon the brothy sauce over them. Add the rest of the parsley and serve with baguette bread.
**Remember: uncooked mussels – discard any that ARE OPEN, cooked mussels – discard any that ARE CLOSED