Mussels in a white wine sauce loaded with garlic is one of my very favorite meals to order at a restaurant, so it made sense that I would look for a recipe to make it at home.
And the thing is, while we have a very fine fish monger not too, too far away, I find it more convenient – and really just as tasty – to keep the ingredients for this tasty dish on hand simply (and pretty darned cheaply) by keeping a box of the bi-valves from the super market stashed in the freezer (our market keeps them next to the fish sticks).
Yes, they may very well come packed in a ‘garlic butter’ sauce, but it’s dead simple to ignore that and make your own – the sauce is frozen solid and easily separated from the goodies, and in some cases (as with the frozen steamer clams I picked up at Trader Joe’s, it’s in a separate packet, which can then be tossed in favor of the good stuff.
Because, much as I love mussels (and steamer clams), I view them as the bonus flavor enhancer(s) to a garlic laden white wine tomato sauce that just begs to be soaked up with some good, crusty French bread.
A nice bit about starting with frozen mussels and clams, aside from the cost, is that I don’t need to run out to the fish monger, then trim and soak my lovelies before cooking, which left me plenty of time to make a couple of loaves of that (very nice, if I do say so myself) French bread.
If you don’t want to make your own bread, no worries, pick up a baguette or three on the way home from work because, yes, this could easily be a week-night dinner, it all comes together in one pan and in well under an hour, depending on how fast you are at chopping.
I chose this batch as a Saturday night thank-you dinner for some dear friends who were giving us a hand with some household projects, so added baked shrimp scampi (details to come), yellow rice, and a couple of bottles of their favorite German wine, nicely chilled, and they were most well pleased.
•1 box frozen mussels
•1 box frozen steamer clams
•2 tbsp unsalted butter
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1-1/2 cup onion, diced
•3 tbsp minced fresh garlic
•1 (14-1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
•Freshly chopped parsley
•1 cup white wine
•1 cup veggie stock
•1 tsp sea salt
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large non-aluminum pot (I used my ceramic tagine), then add the onion and sauté for five minutes.
Add the tomatoes (you can drain the can, if you like, but I usually do not), stock, white wine, parsley, and sea salt and bring to a boil.
Discard any mussels that have not opened.
If using clams and mussels, add the clams first, then cover the pot and cook for three minutes before adding the mussels and cooking for an additional five minutes.
Again, discard any clams or mussels that do not open.
Serve in a bowl, with some of that crusty bread to soak up any extra broth.
A meal on its own, but truly a feast with some nicely garlicky scampi and yellow rice.
And Outrageous(ly) AWESOME Brownies for dessert.
YUM. Just, yum.