Fresh Mussels in the Shell
Store mussels in the bottom of your refrigerator, covered with a damp cloth or wrapped in wet newspaper. They are
best cooked the same day.
To steam mussels, bring a cup or two of water or white wine to a boil in a large pot or steamer, add the mussels,
and cover. Steam for 5-8 minutes until the shells open. Discard any mussels that do not open. If you are going to fry, broil, or grill the
mussels, remove them from the pot as soon as the shells open, and then cook them briefly with the second method, to avoid overcooking them.
||Mussels in White Wine Sauce
|2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
4 medium shallots, finely chopped
2½ cups dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
½ large baguette
I had the beer version of this recipe at a huge
crab feast on the Chesapeake last summer. I prefer the wine version, but if you want to try beer, use a light one to keep the flavor mellow.
Scrub the mussels and place them in a large bowl. Make sure to remove the beards from mussels and to discard all
broken shells or mussels that won't close. Fill the bowl with enough cold water to cover the mussels. Let the mussels sit for 20 minutes to
purge any sand. Remove the mussels from the water and rinse thoroughly.
Pour the olive oil into a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the butter, and when it melts add the garlic
and shallots, and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and carefully add the wine, salt, pepper, and thyme, stirring well.
Add the mussels, bring the broth to a simmer, and cook until the shells open, about 8 minutes. Serve immediately in 2 large bowls with the
juices poured over. Offer slices of soft bread for dipping.
Yield: 2 heaping servings
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