Have you ever wondered how to cook mussels? Here is a mini tutorial, along with a tip.
This is the tip:
(whispers) it’s way easier than you think!
Make sure you buy your mussels cleaned and de-bearded, if possible, but check in any case that they are indeed clean. Rinse them really well, and let them drain as much as possible. It’s inevitable that the sauce will be a bit soupy, but you want it to be as thick as possible.
You take one crazy French brother-in-law to make you laugh
and another to chop the onions or shallots. (I have four)
(Brothers-in-law, not onions)
And you’re well on your way. Alright let me explain what we did. We made one pot of mussels with onions and cider (the French alcoholic kind, not the Upstate New York apple orchard kind). We made another with shallots, white wine and crème fraiche. The two recipes are pretty similar so you can do either, but I’ll show the latter.
Put the shallots in two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter, and fry them until they soften. We used about a cup of shallots to the 3 kilos (6 lbs) of mussels. (The two different recipes totalled 6 kilos of mussels because there were 20 of us, but that might be a bit much for you.)
When the shallots are soft and have released their flavour, pour about 2 cups of white wine or cider in and let some of the alcohol burn away so there is less liquid. You shouldn’t need salt since mussels come from salt water.
When your mussels are properly cleaned and drained, pour them in.
Keep the heat on high and stir them often. When the mussels open, they are done. It takes around ten minutes, depending on how many mussels you have. While the mussels are still hot, add a cup of sour cream or crème fraiche and stir that in too. That way when you soak up the sauce on your plate with a piece of baguette you get a taste of all its creamy-seafoody deliciousness.
My family usually makes this au pif. (They eyeball the measurements).
You can do that too. You’re not likely to go wrong.
Now. What do you serve mussels with?
And beer, cider or white wine.
You all know I don’t drink, and if I were making this at home, I would have made it with alcohol-free white wine and it would have tasted just as good.
So once you get your mussels and fries on your plate, you need to clean out one of the mussels like this.
And that becomes your tool to get all the other mussels out.
and like this.
- 3 Kilos mussels (6 lbs)
- 2 cups white wine or cider
- 1 cup shallots
- 1 cup crème fraiche
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 T butter
- Clean the mussels and drain them well.
- Sauté the shallots in the olive oil and garlic.
- Pour the wine in and let it reduce.
- Pour the mussels in and stir them over high heat in the sauce until they open - about 10 minutes.
- Add the crème fraiche.
- Eat them with french fries and baguette.
- And salad if you're being reasonable.