I completely embarrassed myself in the grocery store the other day.
What else is new…
After seeing that our grocery had Prince Edward Island mussels on special for the holidays, Adam and I decided to expand our cooking repertoire. And headed straight to our favorite cookbook (Tyler Florence’s Ultimate) for a recipe. Oh Tyler, he never disappoints.
I headed back to the grocery bright and early on Christmas Eve morn to purchase our mussels for Christmas Day. As the seafood lady handed me a cardboard box filled to the brim she informed me that she threw in some extra in case some of them die.
Blood exited my face and I just kind of stared at her for a few moments. Unsure of how to process what she had just said.
I had never really thought about the fact that mussels are alive when you cook them.
As she chuckled at the look on my face, I quickly paid for my new pets and hurried home, nervously glancing over at the box in the front seat the whole way.
Like they were going to grow legs and start coming after me.
I’ve never done well with live food.
Needless to say, after the initial shock wore off, mussels are relatively easy and straightforward. Simply take a deep breath and gently pour the mussels from the cardboard box into a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place a few ice cubes on top. Place the bowl in the coldest part of your refrigerator and the mussels will stay alive for 1-2 days. If you’re keeping them for more than 24 hours like this, be sure to drain some of the liquid that the mussels emit into the bowl.
Freaked out yet?
Once you make this delicious and easy appetizer, you’ll never blink twice at buying these babies again. This dish would be perfect for a New Year’s Eve Soiree. Or any weeknight when you just feel like treating yourself.
Garlic Lemon Steamed Mussels [adapted from Tyler Florence]
3-4 pounds of mussels, rinsed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic gloves, sliced thin
1 shallot sliced thin (optional)
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lemon, sliced thin (keep the “ends” for juice)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Little Penguin Chardonnay)
1 cup chicken broth
fresh chopped parsley
Discard any mussels with broken shells or that do not close when tapped. In a saucepan, melt butter and olive oil. Saute garlic, shallots and lemon slices with the thyme sprigs for 3-4 minutes. I also added in a few thyme leaves for extra flavor. Add in the mussels and toss to coat. Pour in white wine, the juice from the lemon ends and the chicken broth.
Cover the pot and steam over medium heat for 10-12 minutes until mussels open.
Serve in a low-profile dish so the mussels sit in the sauce and garnish with parsley.
Oh and for fellow preggers out there, mussels are perfectly safe to eat in moderation. As long as you properly store and cook them 🙂