One of the great things about living in Maine, is that an “economical” dinner can often include steamed lobster, clams, or in this case, mussels. A two-pound bag of mussels is $2.99, and, served with a crusty baguette for dipping, is plenty of food for a light dinner for two.
Most mussels are sold still alive; give them a quick rinse and check to see if any still have their “beards,” the tough fibers that attach the mussels to the rock. These can be pulled off by hand or cut with a paring knife. Check to also make sure that all of your mussels are still alive before cooking; any open shells that don’t close after a few squeezes are dead, and should be discarded.
Steamed Mussels with White Wine and Garlic
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 4 large shallots, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds mussels
- Handful of mixed fresh herbs, including parsley, or basil, chopped
- 1 stick of salted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Combine wine, shallots, garlic, and salt in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer five minutes. Add mussels. Turn heat to high and cook, covered, until mussels open, about five minutes. Add herbs, butter, and mustard, and toss to mix well. Serve immediately over pasta or with a loaf of crusty bread for mopping.