Our son, who lives in Ontario was recently home for a nice long visit. Although he loves to do lots of fun things while home, such as our trip to the Fundy Trail, one of his favourite things is to have some local seafood, like fresh mussels.
If you’re not familiar with mussels, it’s the common name used for members of several families of bivalve molluscs, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval.
Affordable as well as quick and easy to prepare, mussels are a perfect go-to seafood for flavourful meals in a hurry.
We usually have mussels as an appetizer, served right in the shell with some melted butter on the side to dip the meat in.
Mussels are purchased alive and are available from your fish monger or most large grocery stores.
PREPARING YOUR MUSSELS
- Use a stiff brush to rinse and scrub mussels under cold running water. Use your fingers to pull off any “beard”. (Some will have a greenish brown “beard” where their two shells meet.)
- Check for mussels that are already open. Set an open mussel on the counter and give it a tap. If the mussel closes all the way, it’s still alive and is safe to cook. If it remains open, it’s dead; throw it away.
- 2 pounds mussels
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter (divided)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
- Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan.
- Sauté the shallot and garlic.
- Add the mussels and give them a good toss. Add wine and lemon juice; cover the pot and steam over medium-high for 5 minutes until the mussels open.
- Toss in the parsley and second tablespoon of butter, recover the pot, and steam for another minute.
- Serve with additional melted butter for dipping the meat into and grilled garlic bread to sop up the broth.
As always, if you have any questions at all, feel free to ask and I will do my very best to answer!
Have you ever eaten mussels?
What is your favourite seafood? (Mine is scallops)