This past week has been a bit of a fantastic blur with a few of my closest friends, Vicky and Susan, in town visiting. Many laughs and smiles were shared over drinks, food, and around fireplaces all over the Bay Area.
Vicky, a wonderful cook and owner of Avocado Pesto and A Couple Travelers, both successful blogs about food and travel, taught me quite a few recipes while she was here. After consuming an unbelievable amount of oysters over the course of the week, I could not get shellfish off my mind and had her teach me how to make a classic pot of French Moules Marinières, mussels in white wine sauce.
I’ve always been intimidated by mussels, thinking they required more expertise than I have in the kitchen. Little did I know they are one of the simplest things to cook!
If you’re a fan of mussels, you should definitely try making these, takes about a half hour to clean the mussels, chop the ingredients and steam the mussels in the broth.
Here are a few tips about mussels that Vicky taught me:
1) When purchasing mussels, keep in mind that for a filling meal, about 1 pound per person should be plenty.
2) Make sure you keep the mussels over ice until ready to cook.
3) Before cooking, wash each mussel in cold water, removing any remaining beards and checking for cracked or open ones. For open mussels, lightly tap them on the counter and set aside. After 10 minutes, if the open mussels do not close, dispose them. All cracked mussels should be disposed.
This recipe calls for the mussels to be steamed in a butter and white wine mixture, full of garlic, peppercorns, and shallots, making a delicious sauce you’ll want lots of bread to dip in.
Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!
- 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1½ cups white wine (we used Pinot Grigio)
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and cool until translucent.
- Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Turn heat up to high and add the peppercorns, bay leaves, wine and half of the parsley. Toss in mussels. If the wine does not come up 1/2 inch up the sides of the pot, add more. Bring to a boil then cover with lid. Cook until mussels open 6-8 minutes.
- Remove from heat and plate mussels and broth. Sprinkle parsley on top and serve with bread if desired.