Saturday, October 24, 2015

Easy Steamed Mussels

Despite living near the ocean for the past decade or so, until recently I had never tried to cook mussels at home.  They're one of my favorite restaurant dishes, but I was always too intimidated about the cleaning process!  I recently finally had a friend show me how to do it, and it was way easier than I realized -- I've linked to a description below, but if you have a friend willing to show you the ropes, that works too!  This is my friend's super simple "recipe," which you can of course vary by adding different herbs or flavors.  It makes for perfectly cooked mussels in a delicious broth -- plenty for dipping with crusty bread, which is a must.  The bonus is that mussels are so affordable that this dish can definitely be a regular in the dinner rotation.

Easy Steamed Mussels
Serves 2-3

2 pounds mussels
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 to 1 cup white wine or sherry (depending how much sauce you want at the end)
Fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley, minced
Crusty bread, for dipping

1. Clean and debeard the mussels - this part is easier than it sounds and this is a great guide.
2. Melt the butter and oil together in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat.  Add the shallot and garlic, and season with a bit of salt.  Cook for 5-7 minutes or so, until the shallots are softened and just starting to brown.  
3. Pour in the wine or sherry, and bring to a boil.  Add the mussels, give everything a very quick stir, and then cover the pot.
4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 6 minutes.  Remove from the heat, gently stir, and sprinkle with fresh herbs.  Serve with crusty bread for dipping.

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