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Mussels - what's your favorite way to cook them?

Thinking about making some mussels tonight, and wanted to try a new sauce.
Any great ones that you have to share?
Thanks in advance!

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  1. I keep it very simple. I dump some white wine (pinot grigio) into a large pot, add some minced garlic, a little butter, then throw the mussels in there then steam them. I then put the whole mess into a large shallow bowl and serve with a nice crusty bread to sop up the extra wine/garlic sauce that has been infused with the "juice" from the mussels. Wow, now I am craving them!

    4 Replies
    1. re: mels

      I do close to the same, but add fresh, snipped tarragon and a splash of cream at the end.

      Your recipe would also be great with a minced fresh chili pepper (or a pinch of dried flakes) for a bit of a kick.

      1. re: QueenB

        QueenB, you reminded me that I usually throw in a handful of chopped parsley (fresh) at the end. You are right, some chili added to it would be heavenly. I know what I will be cooking up this weekend!

      2. re: mels

        Just made this last night. Cut a pint of cherry tomatoes in half and saute with some smashed garlic and red pepper flakes in a large skillet (evoo) when softened add the mussels and a splash of white wine (whatever I'm drinking, usually pinot grigio) cover and cook on medium till opened. Just a few minutes, Add some fresh chopped herbs, I used parsley, but have used cilantro or basil, whatever is handy. Toss with some linguini.mmmmm.

        1. re: mels

          I use the same recipe as mels but I add in a bunch of spinach as well so it all cooks together. The garlic, wine, and spinach with the crusty bread just make this whole dish complete. Yum...

        2. I just had the best ever in a restaurant that I really would love to find a recipe and learn to make - it was a cream base, had crab in them, OMG fantastic. Big bowl of them - in the shells. I haven't tried googling yet. These were fantastic, the restaurant ran out of bread, I literatally used a spoon to savor every last sip of this liquid and crab morsels.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lexpatti

            try beer instead of wine spectacular

          2. I adore mussels so much that I included three different preparations of them in my book! That said, I also keep them simple. Love them just scrubbed and tossed into a screamingly hot iron skillet to open, then drop some very good French butter and lemon juice on them and eat them with crusty bread...

            Actually, I first had them that way about 20 years ago at La Cagouille in Paris!

            1. I do a spanish sailor-style version. I start by sauteeing minced garlic and a finely diced jalapeno in a little olive oil and then stir in about a 1/2 cup of chopped tomatoes (often just drained from a can). Then equal parts of dry white wine and chicken or vegetable stock, bring that to a boil, add the mussels, cover and cook for about 5 minutes (shaking the pot to stir them around). Once done, I throw some chopped cilantro over the top, stir it in, and serve them with crusty bread.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Megiac

                I forgot that there is some saffron in this one as well (put in with the tomatoes).

              2. I like to cook mussels in coconut milk, a bit of white wine and some Thai red curry paste, with a splash of fish sauce and a squeeze of lime juice. If I happen to have lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves on hand, they go in too.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: Keramel

                    I agree - I've probably made those Spicy Thai Steamed Mussels at least 20 times since that recipe came out. Very easy and great for entertaining too. I make the sauce a day ahead. Then when guests arrive, heat up the curry in a pot, add mussels, and it's done in less than 10 minutes. Turn out into a bowl, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with a plate of lime wedges.

                    Another favorite is from Aquitaine, a local restaurant in Boston. Don't have the recipe handy, but it's made with Sancerre, shallots, and thyme.

                1. i use white wine, lots of garlic, chili flakes, lemon peel and pernod. finish with butter.

                  1. I prefer hot chorizo, garlic, shallots, white wine, tomatoes with fresh minced parsley and coriander.

                    1. I like them so many ways!

                      Here's one nobody's mentioned yet. Wilt some sliced fennel in olive oil. I use a good bit as the flavor softens when cooked. Add white wine, and a splash of Ricard or Pernod. Then the mussels. Steam. Throw in some chopped parsley or thyme (light hand here) at the end, if you like.

                      And a little variation on the garlic/tomato version. Lightly saute garlic and a chopped tomato or two (I don't use a lot of tomato) in olive oil. Add saffron and white wine. Then the mussels. At the end, toss in chopped fresh basil.

                      1. Okay, as a person who's cooked them quite often I can tell you a couple things.

                        First of all, everything that people have posted are great.

                        Secondly, how ever you do them, make sure you have a bowl of broth left and plenty of bread and butter to sop it up with. It's absolutely the best part of eating mussels.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Davwud

                          OK , here is my addition:

                          1.Saute bacon , pour off drippings, add some diced onion, mussels, and apple cider. Cover until mussels open and serve with grilled bread (and a glass or two of hard cider)

                          2. Saute fennel, diced tomatoes, and lemon wedges in olive oli and butter. Add mussels and white wine (something light like a Pinto Grigio). Cover until mussels open, throw in a handful of chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread (and wine).

                          Um, Um , Good !

                        2. Mmm.... mussels...

                          I like "Chinese style" mussels where you take black bean sauce and chinese cooking wine and steam them as you would do with "Belgian style" mussels.

                          "Japanese style" would be steamed with lots of butter and mirin.

                          "Midye Dolmasi" (Turkish-style stuffed mussels) are time consuming to make but probably one of my favourite things to have when I'm in Turkey. If you're ambitious, clean the mussels, force them open and stuff into them a mixture of rice, dried currants, finely chopped onions, all spice, and salt to taste. Stack them in a heavy bottom pot, cover with water and sliced lemons. Place a heavy flat plate on top of the mussels to weigh down the mussels to prevent them from opening as they cook. Bring to boil and let simmer at a medium-low heat for about 20 mins. Let cool and serve with lemon wedges.

                          1. gremolata all the way, baby!

                            whiter wine, garlic and butter in a pan, bung in the mussels and steam. Add a LOT of freshly chopped parsley (you can mix other green herbs if you like) and the finely chopped zest of a lemon.

                            Give it a quick stir and serve in bowls with bread for slurping up the broth. And napkins.. big paper napkins.. you'll definietly need those.

                            1. wow. SO many good ideas. As I wasn't able to make them last night, I am all set for *this* evening instead!
                              thanks so much!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: food.fiend

                                steam w/ pernod and leeks....yummy!

                              2. Here's my favorite recipe. The ingredients include saffron which, I think, marries beautifully with mussels.

                                Steamed Mussels in White Wine with Saffron

                                Makes 4 servings

                                (approx) 1/3 cup olive oil
                                ½ onion, thinly sliced
                                ½ fennel bulb (fronds removed) cored and thinly sliced (optional)
                                4-6 large garlic cloves, chopped
                                1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
                                1 tsp. kosher salt
                                ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
                                2 cups dry wine (Vernaccia is very good)
                                2 ¼-inch thick lemon slices
                                4 pinches saffron threads
                                ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. minced Italian (flat leaf) parsley
                                1 cup petite diced tomatoes, drained well
                                4 pounds small mussels (PEI or Bouchot, if available)

                                Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper. Sauté until onion is wilted, about 4 minutes, making sure not to burn garlic. Add the wine, lemon slices and ¼ cup parsley; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a minute or two. Add the saffron and tomatoes. Stir and simmer another minute. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat and let the broth steep for at least 5 minutes. (The broth can be allowed to sit for up to a couple of hours at room temperature.)

                                To complete: Rinse the mussels under cold water; scrub them, if necessary, to clean them. Pull off and discard the beards. Discard any that do not close when tapped, and any with broken shells.

                                Bring the broth to a simmer over high heat. Add the mussels and stir to combine. Cover and cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring once, until the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

                                Toss the mussels with the remaining parsley and a few grindings of black pepper. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a large, shallow serving bowl. Pour the broth over the mussels. Serve immediately in large shallow bowls, with some good quality, crusty bread.