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In the Kitchen:
Steamed mussels in garlic, butter and wine — a feast from the sea

Stock photo: Fotolia

It’s official. My work season is about to kick itself into high gear. This is my first season as sous chef and a new mom, so that thing called dinner has now found itself at the bottom of any existing list. That being said, sometimes I’m standing in the middle of the store and I have dinner epiphanies. Running errands, grabbing some basics and it hits me — an epiphany smacks me right in the face and I’ve decided what’s for dinner.

This week it was mussels. I’m a huge fan of seafood. I honestly think I’d make a great pescatarian. Seafood is easy to cook, versatile and can be used in an array of dishes. Mussels are pretty far up there on my list of favorite seafood. They’re fun to eat, low in fat and can make a delicious feast, which is great if you’ve got a crowd.

Most of the time I already have all of the other ingredients on hand, making it an easy stop at the fishmonger while I’m out picking up dry cleaning or restocking diapers for the little one.

The recipe I’ve provided below is quick and easy, I’d say the most time-consuming part is mincing the garlic.
It’s tasty and is great served over a side of pasta or with a loaf of crusty bread.

Oh, and if you’ve got leftovers pull the mussels from the remaining shells, save the broth and save to make some Billi Bi soup another night of the week!

Steamed Mussels with White Wine
Serves 6

5 lbs mussels
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups dry white wine
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

• Rinse mussels under cold water, removing the beards. Discard any open mussels or ones with broken shells.
• In a large stockpot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots, saute until softened, about five minutes. Stir in the white wine and salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add the mussels, cover and steam for five minutes or until the mussels begin to open.
• Remove from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a large bowl or individual bowls. Stir the butter and parsley into the remaining broth. Stir until butter is melted. Ladle broth over the mussels being sure not to get any grit or sand that might be at the bottom of the pot. Serve with crusty bread or a side of garlic pasta.

Serve with crusty bread or a side of garlic pasta.