Lent is a wonderful time to try your hand at seafood, since there are good buys. Mussels top the list this week for my family. These are as good as any you’d find in a restaurant!
SIMPLE STEAMED MUSSELS IN WHITE WINE AND GARLIC
I love mussels steamed in garlicky white wine.
To debeard the mussels, just pull off the weedy black fibers/little beard that sometimes hangs on. Serve with crusty bread to mop up juices.
Sometimes I’ll add very finely chopped tomatoes and sprinkle them on top of the mussels right before serving.
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded if necessary
1-1/2 cups white wine
2 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
Handful fresh chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons butter
Bring wine, shallots, garlic, parsley and bay to a simmer in a big pot. Simmer a couple of minutes. Increase heat to high, add mussels, cover, and cook, stirring a couple of times, until mussels open 4-8 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels. Remove from liquid and put in bowl. Whisk in butter, remove bay leaf and pour broth over mussels and season to taste.
When you buy mussels they should be closed. Discard any open ones - that means the mussel has died or close to it.
Now when you cook them, discard any that don’t open up! Same reason.