Posted by on Nov 16, 2011 in Recipe | 5 comments

There’s only a little more than a week left until the big gobble gobble day (named thus not for the animal that graces our tables, but for the sounds we make while inhaling food), do you have your big meal all planned out yet? If not, then try these creamy mussels as a delicious addition to the table. Or, if you’re just looking for a vegetarian or seafood dish, then try out this simple recipe.

Having moved a year or two ago, my family’s been making very good use of the nearby beach. If you’re thinking that that must mean a lot of pretty girls sunbathing in skimpy bikinis…well, I won’t lie and say that there aren’t but that’s not the important thing.

The most important thing is that they don’t mind us watching we now literally have a free fish market practically in our backyard.

Fishing’s always been a hobby for my grandpa, and our freezer is reaping the benefits of his hard work. As for the rest of us who don’t have any l33t skillz with a fishing rod? We squat in the sand and gather mussels. That’s right, those slightly creepy looking lumpy black things that you occasionally find attached to rocks? Those things are edible! Pretty amazing, huh?

Ingredients:

  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 8 oz can chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 lbs mussels
  • pinch of Italian seasoning
  • small pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt, pepper

If you bought your mussels from the market, then skip ahead. If not, you’ll want to get rid of the sand in the mussels before cooking them first. To clean the mussels, if you picked them fresh from the oceans like us, then you’ll see that they’ve got ‘beards’ on them. Give these mussels a shave by rubbing them against each other and soon enough their shells will be smooth and black. Now to make them spit out the sand in their guts, place them in a bowl or try with dry paper towel on the bottom. Cover them with several layers of soaking wet paper towel on top. Stick the whole thing in the fridge and wet the towels on top occasionally. You can keep the mussels in the fridge for two days at the most, and you should find plenty of sand at the bottom.

Smooth and clean!

Now that you’ve got clean mussels, the cooking part is simple.

Saute your finely chopped celery, onion, and garlic together in the butter. Throw in your seasonings (Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper) to spice things up.

Simmering away

Let everything simmer until soft and slightly browned. Add the chicken stock and after the mixture’s boiled, pour in the white wine. Stir well before adding the heavy cream (or whole milk).

Pouring in the stock

Once everything has begun to boil again, put your mussels in. Stir everything together and let it boil for another minute before turning off the fire. Keep the lid on everything for about two minutes, and your mussels should be ready.

Cookin’!

Garnish with a bit of parsley before serving for a pretty finish.

Ready to eat

 Good luck and enjoy~!

~ AJ ~

Photographs taken and provided by AnnMarie Hwang

P.S. If you come across any mussels with closed shells, don’t eat them! This means that the mussel was dead before you cooked them, and the last thing you want to eat is seafood that’s not fresh. 

5 Comments

  1. Nov-16-2011

    MUSSELS! I love mussels! :D haven’t had them since I was in Brussels! Yum!

    And creamy anything has to be good. This looks delicious!

    • Nov-16-2011

      Mussels in Brussels, hee! But yes, this dish is definitely fun to eat and a crowd pleaser to boot. Plus, it cooks up in less than fifteen minutes!

  2. Nov-16-2011

    Ur soooo lucky, I wish i could go fishing in my backyard! Yep those do look good, and nice tip, i never knew about dead mussels xD!

  3. Nov-17-2011

    Wow, looks good!
    It seems like the two of you have been working hard! Thank you for sharing great recipe.

    • Nov-23-2011

      And thanks for reading! It makes writing the posts worth it knowing that someone’s reading along, and of course, we love the comments! =)

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