This week, I’m asking you to take a chance. This week, I want you to try mussels. I know, I know. Mussels aren’t something that are on your typical weeknight menu. But they’re so delicious and inexpensive that you should really give them a try.
A five pound bag of mussels is going to run you right around five bucks, and will easily feed two or three. If your kids aren’t super into it, this is one of the few times that I say to go ahead and make them a pbj, because mussels are quick to prepare and uber-delicious, if not a bit of a grown-up taste too.
Now before you get ready to mussel up, there are a few things that you need to know in order to keep things safe and tasty.
- Mussels are alive when you buy them, and it’s your job to keep them that way until it’s time to throw them on the stove. Avoid the plastic bag at the grocery store, or if you must use it, be sure not to tie it closed, because your seafoody little friends will suffocate and die. And nothing stinks up the joint like a dead mussel.
- Keep mussels in the coldest part of your fridge, usually the bottom shelf in the back. If you can keep them on ice, all the better
- Don’t buy mussels until you’re ready to cook them. This isn’t a “do the shopping on Sunday, have them on Wednesday” scenario. Buy fish, eat fish. Don’t plan on storing it for more than a day. Your fridge and your belly will thank me.
- If the mussel shells are open, give them a little tap on the counter, then set them aside for a minute. You’ll want to be sure they’re still alive before you cook them, and this is a good test. If you have a few with broken shells or that won’t close, just toss them in the trash.
It sounds like a bigger deal than it is, I promise. Once you’re hooked on these little morels of briny goodness, you’ll be whipping them up all the time. For real.
Mussels in White Wine
- 2 pounds fresh mussels
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and finely minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- kosher or sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
Place the mussels in a large bowl of cold water. Allow to rest for 15 minutes in order to have the mussels purge any sand or grit.
Drain the mussels and repeat the process with a second bowl of very cold water.
Drain the mussels again.
In a large saute pan with a tight fitting lid, melt butter and cook shallots over medium-high heat until soft and translucent. Add the drained mussels to the pan, along with the wine and a generous dose of salt and pepper (don’t go too crazy, you can always add more later).
Cover the pan and cook, covered, for 4-5 minutes, or just until the mussels have opened. Add parsley to the pan and stir well to distribute.Taste and re-season if necessary. Discard any un-opened mussels. Serve with a hunk of crusty bread to soak up the juices and enjoy!