Baking is science and I don't like formulas, but cooking is art and anything goes...and the simpler the better. It's all about less time at the stove and more time at the table. With a forty year passion for food I'm excited to share what I do in the kitchen nearly every day.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Steamed Mussels

These mussels make for a great appetizer or meal, they’re so easy to do I brought the ingredients along and made them at a friend’s house the other night.  Start with a couple splashes of extra virgin olive oil and a large pot, heat, and sauté two finely chopped shallots.  After a few minutes add several cloves of chopped garlic and sauté for another five minutes.  At this point add enough dry white wine to barely cover the onions and garlic, doesn’t take much, and keep on medium heat until the liquid reduces by half.  If you don’t have any wine it isn’t critical, just skip to the clam broth.  I prefer, Better Than Bullion, but Snow’s bottled clam broth will work.  Add two cups of the broth and bring to a boil, turn the heat down slightly and leave at a light boil for a few minutes so the liquid reduces some allowing the flavor to intensify.  Taste and add salt, pepper, or a squeeze of lemon accordingly.   Put the mussels in the pot and cover, I figure a half pound per person for an appetizer and a pound for a main course.  A pasta pot can handle around five pounds at a time.  When the mussels have opened and feel nearly firm, about ten minutes, turn down the heat to low and add a half of stick of butter and a handful of chopped parsley.  The butter is optional but it really makes all the difference, but at this point you could also substitute a little curry paste and coconut milk, or Dijon mustard with a little bit of heavy cream.  Cover, let the butter melt for a few minutes, then empty everything into a large bowl and serve with a crunchy baguette so none of the broth goes to waste.  You could even serve them over some angel hair pasta.

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