When I'm paying someone else to make dinner for me, I love ordering mussels. As long as I have a general level of trust in the kitchen staff (let's be honest... there is nothing worse than bad seafood!), these little mollusks are my go-to. They're healthy-ish, flavorful, decadent and fun to eat. And, in my opinion, scary to make at home because when you screw up seafood, the aftermath can be downright ugly.
For New Year's Eve, I decided to make these dudes at home. The Beyonce and I were staying in, but that's no reason to just eat a frozen pizza and call it a night. NYE is an opportunity to set the tone for the upcoming year. Why not make it special?
I bought just over 1.2 lbs of mussels at Whole Foods for a whopping $5.54. Yes, you heard that correctly. Less than $10 on fresh seafood at Whole Paycheck. As for preparations method, Martha Stewart's mussel recipe with white wine and garlic offered all the characteristics I was looking for-- buttery, wine-y, herby AND I already had all of the ingredients at home. Perfect.
I'm not a big recipe follower, so I just used M-Stew's directions as a jumping off point. Here's the gist:
1.2 lbs mussels, rinsed
1/2 bottle of dry wine (I had some cheap-ish Savignon Blanc did the trick)
1 shallot, chopped as small as I could manage before my eyes exploded
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 big handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
A little over a 1/2 stick of butter
Pinch of salt
I poured the vino into my Le Creuset, along with the shallots, garlic and salt. I brought mine to a boil. Instead of simmering for 5 minutes, I turned the burner to low for about 15 minutes because the Beyonce was grilling and I needed to buy time.
I then added the mussels to the wine sauce, cranked the heat, covered and cooked them for about 5 minutes (until the mussels opened). I added the parsley, stirred in the butter until it melted completely. Then, I removed from the heat.
I dumped the mussels and garlicky white wine concoction into a ceramic dish. We ate them immediately with bread we'd brushed with olive oil and grilled.
This recipe is tied with my rack of lamb for most stupidly easy & stupidly delicious thing I've ever made. Literally, I've spent more time and money building a turkey sandwich. These mussels were better than any I've ever had in a restaurant, which means I'll be finding a new go-to appetizer.
Mussels: you have been demystified!