I love seafood, especially mussels. Lots of people are nervous cooking mussels but it’s easy once you know how if you just follow a few simple steps.
We often cook mussels when we are camping in France in my trusty Moules Pot over a camping stove. Then we devour the lot with crusty French bread to dunk into the sauce, followed by what’s left of the bottle of wine. Bon appetit!
However, the biggest, tastiest mussels I’ve ever eaten are Scottish. Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Restaurant and Deli is a great place to visit if you love seafood. They sell all kinds of fresh seafood, fish and local artisan bread. We’ve eaten some superb meals there including mussels. While you are slurping up your hearty lunch, you can actually see the mussel beds through the window from your seat. That’s how local and fresh they are! The bar also has a captivating display of “oyster plates” on the wall.
If you are cooking your own mussels then always buy the freshest possible. Wash well under plenty of cold running water. Remove any grit, barnacles or “beards” if you can see any. Just pull them off. These are just the strands the mussels use to hold on tightly to rocks. Any mussels which stay open when tapped BEFORE cooking are dead, so just discard, along with any which have broken shells. The other rule is that any which don’t open AFTER cooking or float during cooking, should also be chucked out. I leave the mussels in a bowl of clean cold fresh water while I prepare my onion and garlic. Now here’s the main recipe…
Finely chop a small onion and several cloves of garlic.
Drain the mussels and set to one side.
Sauté the onion and garlic in a little butter, then add a large glass of white wine. You can sip the rest while you are cooking!
Bring the liquid up to to boil then immediately add the drained cleaned mussels. Pop a lid on.
Steam over a medium heat with the lid on for around 5 min until all the shells open. Remember to chuck out any which stay closed at this point.
Garnish with fresh parsley.
Enjoy with some homemade sourdough bread or French crusty baguette to mop up all those lush seafood and garlicky juices. Delicious !