I used to be scared to death of cooking mussels. I always feared that I would do something wrong and give my family food poisoning.
Then I found out how inexpensive they are and decided that I needed to get over my fears.
Delicious AND inexpensive… that’s a great combination.
There are a few things to remember when cooking mussels, but nothing tricky or difficult.
First thing to remember is you MUST keep them cold.
They are still alive and you want them to stay that way until you cook them.
If you come across one that is open, hold him closed for a couple of seconds and then release.
If he stays closed this means he is alive and is just opening to sneak-a-peek at you.
If he doesn’t stay closed, he is dead.
This little fella is dead:
Throw him away.
You’ll also need to throw away any that are cracked.
The next thing you need to do is remove the beard looking thing.
This is the beard:
You know you have an understanding husband when he doesn’t think twice or ask any questions when you ask him to hold a mussel so you can take its picture.
If the mussel has a beard, rip it off. You don’t want to eat that.
Mussels can be steamed, broiled, deep fried, even grilled.
The other night, I steamed them in a crazy mixture I made up.
It didn’t start out crazy.
My creation started out normal with shallots, garlic, green onions, and cilantro:
But then, I just started throwing stuff into the pot and things got pretty out of hand.
At one point, I had about a fourth of a beer left and instead of drinking it, I just poured it into the pot with everything else.
Start by sauteing the shallots and garlic in some butter:
Once the shallots become translucent, add about 1 1/2 cups of dry white wine and simmer.
I used apple juice instead of white wine because that is what I had in the refrigerator.
I also tossed in some heavy cream, a little sherry, and some curry.
See what I mean by out of hand?
I believe that cooking should be fun and not a set of rules.
So, whatever crazy liquid mixture you end up with… bring it up to a slight boil.
Now, take the mussels that have been lounging in their ice-bath and throw them into the liquid and mix everything together.
Just the mussels go into the pot, not the ice.
I’m not sure I needed to clarify that but I didn’t want you to think things got THAT out of hand.
Put on the lid and allow the mussels to steam until they all open up.
I like to lightly shake the pot and stir the mussels from time to time just to move them around.
Once they are all open, gently mix in the green onions and cilantro:
The cilantro went very well with the curry and cream.
You could also use Italian Parsley.
Scoop the mussels onto a deep plate or bowl:
Make sure you spoon the juice over the mussels because you’ll need to sop it all up with fresh baked bread.
I don’t bake, but thankfully Publix makes this Bread with huge chunks of Roasted Garlic:
I love when Grandma Publix bakes for us!
This is an Eat With Your Hands Meal, so have plenty of napkins and a big bowl for the shells.
Have fun with it and don’t be afraid like I was.
This is a tasty, simple, and versatile meal that is also fun to eat.