I am so in love with mussels - and I obviously don't mean the ones you might see in Magic Mike.
I mean the delicious, water dwelling creatures that I deeply desire to throw into a pot and cook.
When I was in Australia, I had a love affair with a dish called Chili Mussels. They were hot, but not too hot, and so flavorful.
Although I have not figured out a recipe for Chili Mussels yet that I feel can stand with the ones I had in Perth, I just had to give cooking my first pot of mussels a try.
After reading a lot about traditional dishes using mussels, I decided to put my own spin on Moules et Frites, hailing from Belgium. Basically - mussels and fries. Hello? How can you go wrong?
Mussels are also commonly cooked in a white wine, garlic and butter sauce. So I ran with that as well, and added some parmesan to the fries to tie the flavors together.
Here they are -
White Wine Garlic Mussels with Parmesan Frites
Here's what you need:
- 2 pounds fresh, live mussels
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 whole onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup White Wine
- 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
Now, let's get one thing straight from the beginning. These fries are from frozen. I did not cut and bake them. We threw these suckers in the deep fryer and that was that. Then, for a little fun, I threw some parmesan, salt and pepper on them.
Ain't nothing wrong with that.
Let's get started.
Before you begin, make sure your mussels are clean and ready to cook. I purchased mussels from Whole Foods, where they happen to be available pre-cleaned. That is not always the case. If you buy mussels that have not been cleaned, it means a little extra work for you in the kitchen and makes this recipe more time intensive. If you have any questions about Mussels 101 such as selection, cleaning or storage check out this article from Nosh On It.
P.S. - I had the most fun learning about these little guys! Mussels will close back up if you knock them on the counter. This is a great way to check to see if your mussel is still living and should be cooked. It is really SO neat!
Because my mussels had already been cleaned, I started by rinsing them in cool water while melting my butter and olive oil in a pot large enough to hold all of my mussels over medium-low heat.
After your butter has melted, add your onion and garlic to the pot. Cook for about 3 minutes or until translucent, stirring occasionally.
Next, add your thyme, white wine and mussels. Stir a bit and cover your pot. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
After cooking, discard any unopened mussels. Sprinkle pot with a bit of salt and pepper.
Serve with fries and pop open a brew!
Now, that wasn't hard at all. Was it?
Still pondering about the Chili Mussels for next time!
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