I feel that a plate a steaming hot mussels that have been cooked with wine, butter, garlic, maybe even some onions, makes for a great appetizer to share with friends. Or to enjoy for dinner all by yourself. This is a great meal to make because it comes together so easily. All the while you are sipping some white wine. A splash for the mussels, a sip for yourself. Remember that.
I always just strolled into my local grocery store and picked up a bag of mussels to bring back home. But when I was in Maine over the summer we did things a little bit differently. We actually went out to pluck mussels right out of the waters around an island at low tide.
I had no idea how easy it would be. Just a few fun steps and we were then feasting on fresh food. It was so satisfying to know that the mussels were fresh from the waters, no more than 30 minutes out of the water from when they were in the pot. Plus I think all our ‘hard’ work made them taste better.
1- Go to a place where you can get some fresh mussels. In this case E took us to a spot she calls The Hub off off Deer Isle, ME.
2- Meet a skiddish green crab along the way.
3- Spot some mussels. Target acquired. We came across a lot of mussels under the seaweed. Take a peek and maybe you will find a lot that way.
4- Pluck the mussels off their rocks. Pick a bit more than you think you will eat. Trust me.
5- Throughly clean the mussels. E removed some of the barnacles off as well prior to cooking them.
6) Enjoy with some wine, melted butter, and bread. We also had some corn that I removed from the ears and sauteed.
Whether you get the mussels fresh from the waters yourself or you go to a grocery store, you should make mussels any time you can. A few ingredients and you have a great dinner that works for any time of year.
- 3 pounds of mussels, cleaned and rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 small white onion, sliced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bread
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 1 loaf of bread
- salt and pepper
- Starting with the bread, half the loaf lengthwise. Pour olive oil over the bread, sprinkle with paprika. Lightly toast in a 225 oven.
- In a large pot, combine the water, wine, 2 cloves of garlic, onion, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Upon bringing to a light boil, add the mussels to the pot. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the mussels have opened.
- While the mussels are cooking, in a separate small saucepan, add the garlic and butter. Melt on low.
- Serve the mussels with the toasted bread, seasoned melted butter, and a cup of the cooking liquid from the mussels. Enjoy with a big glass of white wine.
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