Mussels and Clams in Spiced Beer

05bMusselsClamsSpicedBeerbfLOWhat could be better than a steaming pot of mussels and steamer clams in garlicky spiced beer? How about a wicked simple cooking method that starts out with boxed frozen mussels and clams? None of that beard scrubbing and corn meal soaking and all the rest of the hoo-haw that makes me (at least) think twice before setting a tasty bowl of mollusks on the dinner table.

And, starting from frozen or not, I’ll stack these puppies up against most I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot) in a restaurant.

•1 tbsp unsalted butter
•1 tbsp olive oil
•4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
•1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced
•12 oz bottle beer (not dark)
01aSeasoningsbfLO•2 bay leaves
•1/2 tsp dried lemongrass
•1 tsp celery seed
•1/2 tsp hot mustard seed
•1/2 tsp black mustard seed
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/4 tsp Cayenne
•1/2 tsp sea salt
•1/2 tsp Caribbean Calypso Seasoning
•1 lb frozen mussels*
•1 lb frozen steamer clams*
•Fresh parsley, minced

03aAddSeasningsbfLO*I can find frozen mussels in the freezer section of my local market. The steamer clams are a bit harder to find (around here, anyway) – but our local Trader Joe’s seems to keep them in stock. Both are packed with a sauce, which I toss most of in favor of my spiced pot of goodness.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

06aMusselsClamsBowlbfLOAdd the onion and sauté for eight minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and seasonings, except for the bay leaves, and continue to sauté another two minutes, or until you begin to smell the garlic and spices.

Add the bay leaves and beer, bring to a boil, then simmer for two minutes.

Reduce the heat, add the mussels, clams, and fresh parsley.

Cover the pan and cook for eight to nine minutes, until most of the mussels and clams have opened. Discard any unopened mussels and clams.

Serve in a shallow bowl with crusty bread to soak up all those tasty juices.

One of my favorite meals. As a main course, this nicely feeds the two of us (along with the crusty bread).

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