Steamed Mussels Three Ways

I love steamed mussels.

Even better, I love when a friend shows up to my door, with several pounds of them for me to prepare for a group of eager eaters (Thanks Trieu!).

IMG_1399

The classic french preparation of steaming the mussels in butter, shallots, Herbs de Provence and white wine is simply perfection and amazingly simple. Possibly even more satisfying, is sopping up all of that flavorful liquid at the bottom of your bowl with fresh, crusty french bread.

IMG_1398

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

There are a variety of ways to make steamed mussels, and here I decided to take it three ways: a classic preparation with butter, shallots, white wine and Herbs de Provence; an Italian spin with garlic, fresh basil, grape tomatoes and red wine; and another classic preparation with pancetta.

Aside from being easy to prepare, mussels can be incredibly reasonable to purchase.

Normally going to a restaurant, while fun and enjoyable, a batch of steamed mussels can run you $15 and up. Meanwhile, going to an Asian market or grocery store to get fresh mussels can be $2-$4 per two pounds.

And as if I needed to give you an excuse to get your friends together at your place for a big meal and lots of wine? Didn’t think so !

To Clean the Mussels – 

When you purchase your mussels, make sure to immediately unwrap them at home so they can breathe. Discard any mussels with broken shells or ones that are already open. The mussels should be tightly closed.

Remove the stringy mussel beards with your thumb and index finger as you wash them.

Garlic, Herbs de Provence and White Wine Steamed Mussels

Ingredients:

2 lbs of fresh mussels

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 large shallots, chopped

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons of Herbs de Provence

2 cups of dry white wine

Directions:

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.Add the Herbs de Provence, mussels and white wine. Give everything a good stir, then put on the top and steam for about 10 minutes, until all the mussels have opened up.

IMG_1407

Serve with lots of crusty french bread, that you’ve toasted briefly in the oven.

* To make with pancetta, add three tablespoons of uncooked pancetta to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in 4 tablespoons of butter , then continue with the recipe as stated.

Grape Tomato, Basil and Red Wine Steamed Mussels

Ingredients:

2 lbs of fresh mussels

6 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 medium onion, chopped

2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half vertically

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

2 cups of dry red wine

Directions:

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the basil, and cook for another 5 minutes.

IMG_1402

Give everything a good stir, then add in the mussels and red wine. Give things another quick stir,  then put on the top and steam for about 10 minutes, until all the mussels have opened up.

Serve with lots of crusty french bread, that you’ve toasted briefly in the oven.

IMG_1410

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s