July 22, 2010

Steamed Mussels

Steamed Mussels & Bread


I Heart Mussels

After an embarrassingly long hiatus from the gym, I finally decided to pay my local New York Sports Club a visit this afternoon. While I admit that it wasn't my best gym performance ever, I still managed to unclog my heart a bit. To reward myself, I wanted to make a low-key, cheap, relatively healthy, and savory snack/meal. Coincidentally, I was talking with B on gchat during this thought and he suggested mussels! Mmmm mussels... I love mussels and can eat a ton of them. They're surprisingly cheap too. We bought 4lb from Citarella for $12. Not bad right? Recipe on the next page.

At that awesome price per pound, why would I ever order mussels from a restaurant ever again? I suppose most of the price on a mussels dish isn't for the product; it's for the labor. Mussels are a little intensive to clean and debeard. After the first few dozen though, you get the hang of the mini tug-of-war battles. The batch that we had were pretty solid. Only three of the 100 or so were cracked open.

Once the prep work is completed, the "cooking" is quite easy. You basically dump everything into a big stock pot and steam for about 6 minutes. I asked B to grab some bread as well, in order to soak up the amazing broth that the steaming process leaves behind. We actually had a large quantity of broth left, so I decided to store it... perhaps to be used for a seafood and tomato soup!

A trick to use while you're eating is to use an empty shell (one with both sides still attached) like a pair of tweezers/tongs to pick out other mussels from their shells. It's the savvy and smooth way to enjoy your mountain of mussels like a pro.

Steamed Mussels in Spicy White Wine & Tomato Broth
Adapted from Tyler Florence
Prep time: 30 min / Cooking time: 6 min / Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 4 servings (or 2 generous servings for mussel-lovers)


4 pounds mussels

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot or small onion, minced or diced (depending on how you like it)

2 garlic cloves, shaved

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon of Shao Xing cooking wine (optional)

1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice or one freshly squeezed lemon

1 cup chicken broth, low-sodium

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 tomato, peeled, seeded and cut in large dices

1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. First, clean the mussels by rinsing them under cold running water while scrubbing with a vegetable brush. Trash any mussels that are partially open or have broken shells. Remove the little beard by tugging at it from side to side.

2. In a large 6 to 8-quart stockpot, add the onion/shallot, garlic and thyme. Pour in the olive oil and turn the heat up to medium. Saute the shallot, garlic and thyme to create a base flavor. Once you get a good sizzle going, add the mussels in.

3. Pour the wines, lemon juice, chicken broth and red pepper flakes over the mussels. Cover the pot and steam over medium-high for 5 minutes until the mussels open.

4. Toss in the tomato, parsley and butter, recover the pot, and steam for another minute to soften. The tomatoes should keep their shape. Serve with plenty of grilled garlic bread to sop up the broth.


Post a Comment