It's Time to Mussel Up!

When you fancy a truly no-fuss meal consider quick-cooking mussels. They are easy to cook and lots of fun to eat. I love them simply steamed or tossed with pasta or rice and sauced up with tomatoes, green peppers and Feta cheese. I also use mussels in seafood stews and soups and when entertaining I often make Paella, a classic Spanish dish I learnt to make while attending the University of Barcelona, that is always a great crowd pleaser. One thing is certain, once you've purchased, cleaned and de-bearded the mussels you’ll have lots of options to make delicious, satisfying and elegant dishes. To make your life even easier, try using top quality frozen mussels. They are real time savers!

Mom's Moules à la Marinière Recipe!

Mom loved mussels and when we were living in Brussels in the late 1960’s many of our family outings included visits to local restaurants at Brussel’s Grande Place where we enjoyed huge and delicious portions of aromatic Moules à la marinière served with Pomme Frites (Mussels with Fries), both well-known Belgian specialties.

Ingredients 1kg (2.2lbs) mussels, cleaned and de-bearded 1 tblsp butter + 2 tblsp olive oil 1 – 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped 1 ½ cups dry white wine 50ml cream (optional) Handful of flat-leaf parsley

For Serving: Crusty bread

Preparation Method Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots and garlic are soft and wilted.

Add the mussels and wine, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every now and then. Add the cream (optional) and chopped parsley and remove from the heat. Spoon into large warmed bowls and serve with lots of crusty bread to soak up the liquid and if you like, French fries (optional). Yield: 2 – 4 servings

©KaritasM – August 2021

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