Aside from recipe specifics, the real lesson here is do not boil them in broth. They are steamed open with the addition of a cup or so of wine or broth. I'm not sure why the restaurant won't give you their recipe. I'm quite certain that if you pick out the herbs and seasonings you can recreate the dish very easily at home. It shouldn't be a huge secret mystery recipe...
For a mussel dish served at a bar, I'm almost positive they will use white wine/dry vermouth and garlic. They will possibly add a bit of cream at the end and finish it off with parsley or chives or other fresh herb.
Here's a recipe that may have been popularized by a celebrity chef, but a friend had it on his menu in an upscale restaurant and it was a top selling item for him. Serve with fresh bread or grilled bread rubbed with garlic. The ingredients you will need are:
Fresh Sliced Shallots
Fresh ChoppedFlat Leaf/Italian Parsley
Andouille or Chorizo Sausage sliced or slivers
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
7-12 ounces of your favorite beer
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a hot pan with a good lid add Olive Oil and render the sausage, then add fresh chopped garlic, sliced shallots, salt, pepper, optional red pepper flakes and saute' until translucent. Now add the cleaned mussels and beer and cover the pan until the first signs of the mollusks opening. Remove lid, finish with parsley and optional butter at this time....give it a good shake and serve......I usually drizzle additional Olive Oil over the large family serving bowl or individual serving bowls.
The entire cooking process, including prep should take you ten minutes or less....
Mussels are so simple! A cast iron skillet is my favorite pan to use. Debeard and rinse your mussels (a pound is good for two), chop a cup of flat leaf parsley (add in some basil if you've got it on hand) and coarsely chopped garlic (# of cloves is up to you). Have some white wine or dry vermouth at your side. Heat up the skillet nice and hot, add olive oil to coat the pan, add garlic and just as it begins to turn color toss in all the mussels, swish them around, then douse with the wine, add the chopped herbs, some thyme (or oregano, but not both), and freshly ground pepper with a healthy grind of sea salt. Don't cover, swish it all around, add more wine if necessary but we are looking for a reduction and when all of the mussels are open toss in a knob of butter and swish some more, turn of heat, serve in skillet with french bread to sop up the goodness. It is what I ate tonight and am so happy to share it.
lexpatti; I am also in search of a great cream based mussel recipe... a local resto here serves mussels cooked with shallots, strips of red bell peppers, and fennel slices in a cream of anise liquour. Unfortunately, they too won't give out the recipe, short of this description on their menu (too bad because it is soooooo tasty!). The broth it makes is incredibly fragrant and perfect for sopping up with bread. Let us know if you find your cream based mussel recipe, I'd like to play with one using these ingredients (just need to figure out the cream to anise liquor ratio) to see if I can recreate the dish at home!
I make Gorgonzola mussels that always receive high praise.
1 bottle good, but inexpensive Riesling
butter enough to caramelize shallots
you steam that in a pot until they are almost done and then add a big chunk of good Gorgonzola to taste.
Serve in soup bowls with the broth and lots of crusty bread.
You can add any seasonings that tickle your fancy. I usually sweat sliced leeks in butter with a minced clove of garlic and a chopped tomato. Add a cup of white wine. Toss in a couple of pounds of scrubbed and de-bearded mussels. Steam for 5 minutes. Serve with baguette (although my baker told me that in France they use rye bread). Give each person a bowl so they can enjoy the broth after finishing the mussels.
Scrub and beard 2 pounds mussels. Put in a big pot with 1 large onion and 1 small stalk celery, both finely minced, some fresh or dried thyme and 1 cup dry white wine. If so moved, you can also add a finely minced clove of garlic and/or carrot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Steam just until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Serve with a baguette for sopping up the delicious liquor. Yield: 2 servings.
they make their own broth.
there is no limit to what flavorings you use.. just saute your aromatics, add spices, throw in the mussels, and any liquids you might be using, cover and cook just until all the shells pop open.
with just garlic, oil, pasrley, and chile peppers
the same as above, but w/ clam juice added (great on pasta)
in wine, vermouth or beer
with thai curry pastes and broth or clam juice
there is no way to go wrong, short of overcooking
super simple food