Sunday, March 15, 2009

Flex your Mussels

Tonight we decided to try mussels.... no reason really, just wanted something different. I found plenty of recipes to try but ultimately tried a spicy garlic sauce. I can't say that I loved the mussels, but I didn't mind them and I am glad that we tried them. Jim thought the same thing as me... good not great. Of course, since this was my first time making them, I don't know if there is a better recipe out there to try. I wanted to go to Quality Seafood to buy the mussels but they were closed on Sundays, so I went to Whole Foods.

Printed from COOKS.COM

2 dozen mussels (Maine are preferable)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 tbsp. Tabasco
4 Tablespoons of butter
1/4 c. white wine (water can be substituted)
Pinch crushed red pepper
Pinch salt (if necessary)
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro

1. Remove string-like beard from mussel by pulling (some of these are tough little bitches, and wouldn't come out easy) and cleaning outside shell if necessary discard any that will not stay closed.
2. Place in large pot and completely cover with water for at least 20 minutes
3. Drain and rinse off mussels.
4. In a large saucepan heat oil, garlic and Tabasco until light brown. - Add 4 tablespoons of butter, melt and mix
5. Toss mussels in and stir until coated.
6. Pour wine (or water) in pot add red pepper and cover.
9. Bring to boil and stir occasionally until all shells open. (Some may not, but can be forced.)
10. Taste sauce and add season if necessary.
11. Remove mussels to large bowl, add cilantro to sauce and pour over top. Serve with bread or over pasta. ** I didn't have any cilantro on hand, so I left it out **

Taylor and Chewie checking out the mussels

So this guy is bad... if it stays open then don't eat it. Not sure why, but I'll follow the rules so I don't get sick!

Cooking up in the buttery garlic wine goodness

Finished product.... looks a little like an alien coming out of it's shell :o)

Helpful Tips that I used today.....

Cleaning Mussels
By: Allrecipes Staff
A step-by-step tutorial for clean and healthy mussels.
If you want to avoid serving a bowl of full salty, sandy mussels it's a good idea to become familiar with the simple process of cleaning and debearding mussels.

1. When selecting your mussels, NEVER choose a mussel that is chipped, broken, or damaged in any way. Also, never choose a mussel that is open. The mussels should be tightly closed and stored in a cool area where they can breathe. When you purchase your mussels, make sure to immediately unwrap them at home so they can breathe, otherwise they might die before you cook with them.

2. Just before cooking, soak your mussels in fresh water. Soak them for about 20 minutes. As the mussels breathe, they filter water and expel sand. After about 20 minutes, the mussels will have less salt and sand stored inside of their shells.

3. Most mussels have what is commonly called "The Beard," also known as byssal threads. The beard is comprised of many fibers which emerge from the mussel's shell.

4. To remove the beard, using a dry towel, grasp the beard and give a sharp yank out and toward the hinge end of the mussel. This method will not kill the mussel. If you were to pull the beard out towards the opening end of the mussel you can tear the mussel on the inside of the shell, killing it. Discard the byssal threads.

5. Remove the mussels from the water. Do not pour the mussels and water into a straining device because the sand has sunk to the bottom of the bowl. Pouring the mussels and water into a straining device would cause you to pour the sand back on top of the mussels. Place these mussels into another bowl full of clean cold water.

6. Once the mussels have been soaked, use a firm brush to brush off any additional sand, barnacles, or other oceanic attachments. Rinse the mussels under cool tap water, and set aside. Dry with a towel before cooking.

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