Easy, quick DELICIOUS mussels for tonight
I don't know how it happened, but a bag of mussels followed me home. I usually just do a quick mariniere - white wine, onion, garlic, parsley and a bit of tomato. I'm open to other suggestions, though.
Must be DELICIOUS.
Must be FAST.
Must be pretty easy.
I have a good baguette and a garden. Ideas?
Sounds perfect to me. It doesn't need messing with. What I would do is pick up a good French Rose and chill it well to go along with.
I really like this Spanish-style Mariniere: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/mu....
Alternatively, I will do a curried carrot broth. I saute diced carrot an onion in some olive oil, stir in a tablespoon of green curry paste, add equal parts vegetable stock and carrot juice. Just before adding the mussels, I stir in a tablespoon or two of creme fraiche.
For mussels, I normally do one of two things:
Tyme, white wine, shallot. steam open mussels and add some parsley. Something amazing about white wine and shallots cooking. Some add butter, I don't.
The other would be a thai curry broth, which works well with mussels, but takes much longer to prepare.
Howzabout going for a thai=style twist? White wine, coconut milk, LOTS of ginger and a dab of curry paste of your choice (I like the green, personally). Garnish with cilantro before devouring.
Here's a tip I learned from cookbok author Jean Anderson that improves almost any mussel recipe: The second the mussels open, remove them from the pot and boil down the liquid. This concentrates the mussel flavor in the sauce. Once the sauce is reduced, return the mussels just to reheat and serve. It's a teeny bit of a pain, but the result is definitely worth it.
I just made these a couple of weeks ago and loved them:
3 lbs. mussels
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 c. chopped scallions
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 c. chopped artichoke hearts or bottoms (I used a drained 14 oz. can)
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 tsp. dried
Salt & freshly ground pepper
3/4 c. dry white wine
1. With stiff brush, scrub mussels under cold running water. Pull off any beards. Place in large bowl with cold water to cover and set aside until ready to steam. Before steaming, discard any mussels with open shells.
2. Peel garlic and chop finely.
3. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, scallions, parsley, artichoke hearts, tarragon and salt and pepper to taste and cook until vegetables are tender but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Add wine and 1/4 cup water and simmer 5 minutes. Then raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
5. Add mussels, cover pan, and steam until mussels have opened, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels with unopened shells.
6. Transfer mussels to warm platter and spoon juices over them.
I think it was Patricia Wells who recommended making them with a Gewurtztraminer - she called her "taxi driver's secret".
re: Carb Lover
I did the artichoke one (see above). It was very good, but to be perfectly honest, I think I really like the acidity/sweetness of a bit of tomato and white wine best with mussels - the old classic. Not too much tomato, just enough to add some colour and a few chunks to the sauce. I also suspect that the canned artichokes were lacking in flavour - fresh ones would definitely have been better.
If I had had any fennel I would definitely have used it instead (and maybe a bit of ouzo). I haven't looked at your links yet, but fennel saffron broth sound great too. And if it weren't so summery and hot, I would be more inclined to do a Thai version. I just find myself lapsing into Mediterranean flavours with this weather.
Do you have a large cast iron skillet? Heat the pan to screaming hot (no fat) and put all the mussels in the pan. Grab a couple of good pot holders, and start shaking the pan. Keep shaking the pan until all the mussels have opened, then remove from heat and grind some fresh black pepper on them and bring the pan right to the table.
Make a quick dipping sauce of melted unsalted butter and fresh lemon juice. You can drizzle this over the mussels, or serve it on the side in little bowls.
Add a chilled Muscadet and you're good to go!
I love to do mariniere although a a wonderful zuppa di cozze in SIcily one day so to remind me of my holiday I now also...
fry finely diced onion, add tomato pulp and some dried chili flakes. Blast to reduce the tomatoes a bit, add the mussels. Cook. Serve with crusty bread, maybe throw over some chopped parsley. So mariniere but using tomato and chili rather than white wine.