This year has been the year of the mussel. It started in January when I took my Grandma to Murphy’s for lunch when she had mussels and has continued on throughout the entire Summer with an almost semi-monthly feast on the little mollusks. There are no complaints here, however, with a basket of toasted bread and sauce screaming with flavor, the only downside is that mussels have to be fished out of their shell causing me to slow down while I eat them in their best state, classic moules marinieres.
Preparing mussels at home does take on an additional challenge. Typically, you need a couple of hours before hand to sort through the bag you’ve bought to make sure that everyone is alive and there is no seaweed added to your stock. After sorting through, a quick rinse and a nap in the fridge, mussels are among the easiest seafood to prepare. You know they are done when their shells open and you’re ready to serve within minutes of placing them in your cooking pot.
- 4 lbs of mussels
- 1 leek, washed and sliced
- 1 Shallot
- 2 knobs of garlic
- 4 strips of bacon
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 1/4 cup of cream
- 2 cups of White Wine, I like Luna Nuda's Pinot Grigio
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Wash and prep your mussels by rinsing them under cold water and scrubbing their shells to remove any barnacles and their beards. Make sure to discard any mussels whose shells are open.
- In a dutch oven over medium high heat, begin to brown your bacon. When halfway cooked through, add half of the butter, leeks, shallot, and garlic. Continue to cook thoroughly until the leeks have wilted down and begun to brown.
- Add wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Then stir in your cream.
- Return heat to high, add in mussels and cover and cook until all mussels have opened- about 5 minutes.
- Stir in remaining butter, thyme and seasoning.
- Divide mussels among 4 bowls and serve with crusty, buttered bread.
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