4 Ways With Mussels

Cook, Ingredient Spotlight, Recipe Roundup

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of cooking mussels at home. These Parisian bistro favorites are quick and easy to prepare and relatively inexpensive, compared to other shellfish, making them a great choice for both weeknight dinners and entertaining. Before you get started, here are a few of our best tips for working with mussels:

 

Selecting: Buy live mussels from a reputable fishmonger — they should have a fresh sea smell. Tap the mussels and don’t buy them if they stay open, indicating a dead or at least dehydrated mussel. Smaller mussels are best for steaming, while the larger ones lend themselves to stuffing, broiling and grilling.

 

Storing: Place mussels in a bowl, cover completely with a damp towel, and refrigerate. Fresh mussels are best if used as soon as possible; keep them for no more than 1 day. To freeze, place live mussels in a zippered plastic freezer bag and store for no more than 3 months. Defrost frozen mussels slowly in the refrigerator before cooking.

 

Preparing: Scrub grit off the shells of fresh mussels, then debeard each mussel with a knife or scissors, as needed. Do not debeard mussels more than 1 hour before cooking, since doing so kills them. Discard any mussels that are very light or are heavy with sand — they are most likely dead. Live mussels will close tightly when touched and open up again while cooking. Check cooked mussels and throw out any that failed to open.

 

Provencal Mussels

 

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded

2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon

Crusty bread for serving

 

In a wok or large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallot and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cream and simmer until liquid thickens, 7-10 minutes. Raise heat to high, add mussels, and toss to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until all mussels have opened, 3-5 minutes.

 

Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to 4 serving bowls, discarding any that failed to open. Ladle the liquid over the mussels, garnish with parsley and tarragon, and serve with bread. Serves 4.

 

Mussels with Saffron and Tomatoes

 

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 cup canned diced tomatoes, with juices

1/2 cup vermouth

Pinch of saffron threads, toasted, ground and dissolved in 1 Tbs. hot water

1 1/2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded

1/3 cup finely shredded fresh basil leaves

Crusty bread for serving

 

In a wok or large saucepan over medium heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to taste and saute until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices, vermouth, and saffron. Raise heat to medium-high and simmer for 3 minutes to blend flavors. Raise heat to high, add mussels, and toss to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until all mussels have opened, 3-5 minutes.

 

Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to 4 serving bowls, discarding any that failed to open. Ladle liquid over mussels, sprinkle with basil, and serve with bread. Serves 4.

 

Thai Green Curry Mussels

 

1 stalk lemongrass

1 (14 fl. oz.) can coconut milk

1 Tbs. Thai green curry paste

1 Tbs. Asian fish sauce

1 kaffir lime leaf

1 1/2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded

1 small Thai chile, seeded and minced

3 Tbs. chopped cilantro

Crusty bread for serving

 

Cut bottom third of lemongrass stalk into 1-inch pieces. Crush pieces with the flat side of a chef’s knife.

 

In a wok or large saucepan over medium heat, warm coconut milk. Add lemongrass, curry paste, fish sauce and lime leaf and simmer until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Raise heat to high, add mussels, and toss to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until all mussels have opened, 3-5 minutes.

 

Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to 4 serving bowls, discarding any that failed to open. Ladle liquid over mussels, garnish with chile and cilantro, and serve with bread. Serves 4.

 

Mussels with Lemon and Ale

 

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 shallots, minced

Sea salt and ground pepper

1 cup light Belgian-style ale

1 1/2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded

2 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Crusty bread for serving

 

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallots and saute until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Raise heat to high, add ale and mussels, and toss to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until all mussels have opened, 3-5 minutes.

 

Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to 4 serving bowls, discarding any that failed to open. Stir lemon zest and cream into cooking liquid and simmer until liquid thickens, about 4 minutes. Ladle liquid over mussels, garnish with parsley, and serve with bread. Serves 4.

One comment about “4 Ways With Mussels

  1. 4 Ways With Mussels « onedadskitchen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *