Fresh Mussels

04bMusselsbzLOSo, I have a confession to make:

When I‘ve made mussels at home in the past, I usually start with the frozen stuff from the market. I mean, I still make my own white wine and garlic sauce for cooking ’em, but I always thought cooking from “fresh” was a lot of bother.

01aMusselsBowlbzLOIt turns out, I was wrong.

Cooking from fresh is pretty darned simple, and almost as fast as wrestling the frozen buggers out of their little cryo-pack.

Rich was running errands and at the market one day, when he called, all excited about a special they were running on fresh mussels.

“Was I interested?”

“Sure, why not!”

01bMusselsBowlbzLOSo I went to da google and did some research.

“Hmmm, I can do that!”

•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1/2 sweet onion, diced
•Olive oil
•1 tomato, chopped
02bOnionTomatoGarlicbzLO•1/2 tsp Vadouvan French Masala Curry*
•3 or 4 lb mussels
•1 cup chicken stock
•1/2 cup white wine

*Or your preferred curry or other spice blend; some folk like Old Bay.

Check out the mussels and discard any with cracked shells. Rinse the remaining mussels in a colander.

03aAddStockbzLOAll of the mussels should be tightly closed; if any shells are open, tap lightly against the counter. If the shell doesn’t close in acouple of minutes, discard that mussel.

One of the cool things about fresh mussels from your fish monger is that they will most likely already be debearded, but you’re gonna want to check yours out anyway. Look for short brown “strings” coming out of the mussel shell on one side. Give ‘em a gentle pull and they should come right out. Mussels debearded.

04aMusselsbzLOStore your rinsed and debearded mussels in a large bowl covered with a clean, damp kitchen towel or paper towel in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.

Melt butter with olive oil over medium high heat, then add onion and garlic and cook for five minutes.

Stir in chopped tomato and Vadouvan and continue to cook for two more minutes.

Add mussels, then chicken stock and white wine. Stir to blend, then cover and cook for five minutes, giving the pan a good shake every now and then.

Serve in a shallow bowl with the juices and some crusty bread. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

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