Shame on me, it’s been a while since my last update. The hectic balancing act that was my life the past few months has now calmed down a bit, giving me additional reflection time on next steps. And of course, time to return to my food blog and take care of some neglected LJ Bistro dishes from the end of Summer & Fall.
I wanted to cook a seafood themed dinner for LJ Bistro #15, and some steamed mussels sounded like the perfect opening dish. I’ve always placed a high value on shellfish, with fantasies of one day eating unlimited lobsters dancing in my mind. Until then, I satisfy those shellfish cravings with $1 happy hour raw oysters and $2.50 seafood chigae from Woorijip. And on special binge sessions? Juicy king crab legs at Chinese buffets *drool*.
Mussels are definitely on the affordable end as well and surprisingly easy to cook! No longer are you limited to fancy French restaurants for your Moules Frites fix. Enjoy these fine moules delicacies from the comfort of your own home. And *ahem* according to Andrew, this dish is perfect for you male cooks out there looking to impress a special lady friend (sophisticated dish created with minimal effort).
On a final note before we dive into how to steam some delicious mussels, I want to invite you guys to join Lot18, a beautifully designed daily deals website that provides insider access to fine wines, specialty foods, and epicurean-themed excursions. I actually haven’t quite learned to fully appreciate a glass of full-bodied wine, so for me I love browsing the site for deals on cookware and utensils. I recently purchased a gorgeous Nero fondue set. Now I just need some people over to enjoy!
3 lb mussels
1 cup chopped onions
6 cloves minced garlic
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp flour (optional, used to thicken broth)
1) Clean the mussels by placing them in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes until the mussels open up and disgorge any sand. Scrub the outside shells with a brush under running water, removing the “beard” from each with your fingers. Throw away any mussels whose shells are not tightly shut.
2) Heat the olive oil in a large griddle over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes until the onions are translucent.
3) Add the tomatoes, white wine, parsley, thyme, flour, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring everything to a boil.
4) Add the mussels, stir well, and cover the griddle. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until all the mussels are open. While steaming, shake the pot once or twice to distribute the broth over the mussels and to make sure they don’t burn on the bottom.
5) Discard any mussels that do not open. Mussels that do not open were dead already before being cooked, and you don’t want to risk getting food poisoning! Pour the mussels and broth into a large bowl and serve immediately.
Don’t forget a few thick chunks of bread to soak up all that delicious broth at the bottom! I went with a freshly baked demi baguette from Trader Joes. If you’re feeling very ambitious, fry up some frites to eat alongside your steamed mussels. Bon appetit!
Inspired by Ina Garten’s “Mussels in White Wine” recipe