Looking for a simple recipe you like for mussels. Please not a cream type broth like Ireland, but a French/Belgium type wine sauce. Also, what are the best mussels to use? I've eaten these in restaurants, but have never done them at home.
Mine isn't so much a "recipe"
1 bottle white wine (inexpensive but drinkable)
4-6 cloves garlic crushes
2 nice sized pats of butter
Combine it all and steam until the mussels are cooked. Must have a good quality bread for sopping.
Sweat diced garlic and shallots in olive oil and butter.
Add mussels and toss around.
Add 1 cup dry white wine and cover-shake the pan a few times and cook for 7-8 minutes.
Uncover and add sea salt and pepper from the mill and finnish with chopped flat leaf parsley.
Serve with a nice rustic bread to mop up the broth------enjoy!
re: James Hogue
Since you've never done mussels at home, my two cents:
1. The best mussels to use, will probably be the ones you can get your hands on. Where I live (50 miles east of Los Angeles), I cannot get New Zealand green, except cooked. You will probably end up with black mussels, which are perfectly fine.
2. I'm assuming, but just in case you don't know, to buy probably, at least 1/4 more of a pound than you're planning for, because some inevitably won't be good.
3. To determine if good: A. Tap mussel to see if it closes. If it does, it's still alive. Check also for cracked shells. Toss any ones that don't close or are cracked.
B. Go ahead and cook per recipe; ones that don't open, toss. They're dead, and not good to eat.
The best mussels to use? Lol! It's doubtless you are not going to have a choice unless you're a restaurant chef. The best mussels to use will be those that have a fresh smell & are CLOSED. No gapers. Any that are slightly open should close right away when gently tapped, thus proving they're still alive. (Shellfish food poisoning is one of the worst ones to experience.)
Then - don't knock yourself out, just take it simple the first time around. Gone are the days when one had to rinse off scads of mud, remove the mussels' "beards", & scrub off all sorts of flotsam & jetsam. These days, nearly all mussels are farmed & arrive at your market fairly pristine. Just give them a good rinse & exam - discarding any that are cracked or don't close when gently tapped.
Then put them all in a large pot & add about 2" or so (for each 2 pounds of mussels) of dry white wine. Remember - you're not BOILING these mussels (an entire bottle of wine would be unbelievable overkill), you're STEAMING them. Add several sprigs of bruised fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, several sprigs of bruised fresh thyme, several cloves of peeled crushed garlic, & a couple of whole dried chili peppers if you like. Cover & bring everything to a boil over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until mussels open.
Remove mussels to large soup bowls or plates & serve with melted lemon butter, broth & crusty bread if desired.
Optionally (& what I do), serve without the broth & save it in the freezer to add to your next clam sauce, seafood soup, or seafood sauce.
I clean the beards off two pounds of mussels and put in a big
pan, add three chopped garlic, a hand full dried paisley,
and about 2 cups of dry white wine, stir with a slotted spoon,
put a lid on and turn on high, bring to a boil for about two
minutes and until all the mussels are open. On the side we
have a baguette and butter.
I learned this from my neighbor lady in Miesau who was from
Forebach in Lorraine. We were planning on having this tomorrow
night. The Penn Cove mussels are in every store here.