Mussels are a fantastic and easy appetizer or entrée to make at home. Don’t shy away from them, because we have instructions on selecting them, proper storage and when to discard them under Chatty Advice below. Make the crostini to soak up all the flavorful broth. See Chatty Advice before purchasing mussels. Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a meal.
1 lb. of mussels cleaned
1/4 cup of butter
5 cloves of garlic crushed through a garlic press
2 long sprigs of fresh oregano removed from the stem and mince (To remove leaves from the stem pull backwards on the leaves.)
1 cup of white wine
1 small tomato diced
1 tablespoon of fresh basil cut using the chiffonade technique
1 small baguette
Butter flavored non-stick cooking spray
Make crostini by slicing baguette and generously spraying both sides with non-stick cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside and make mussels.
In a large to medium sized pot add butter and melt over medium high heat. Add garlic and oregano and sauté until fragrant about a minute. Add mussels and white wine, stir and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes or until mussels have opened. If any mussels did not open, discard them. Pour into a large bowl, top with diced tomatoes and basil and serve crostini on the side.
Try Ferrari Carano Chardonnay (Alexander Valley), J. Lohr Arroyo Seco Riverstone Chardonnay (California), Hahn Estates Chardonnay (Monterey), Flensburger Brauerei Gold Premium Lager Beer (Germany), Samuel Adams® Summer Ale (Boston, MA) or Paulaner Hefe-Weizen (Germany) with lemon wedges.
Mussel must be kept alive until they are cooked. So do not suffocate them in a plastic bag or drown them by soaking them in water. As soon as coming home from the grocery store, empty the bag of mussels into your sink. Thoroughly but quickly rinse all of them. Place into a strainer filled with ice, place the mussels on top of the ice and place the strainer in a large deep container that the ice can melt into. Do not cover. Refrigerate until ready to cook them. When rinsing the mussels, any with cracked shells should be discarded. If you find any that will not close when handled or given a light tap, discard them as well, because they are dead. They will open to breath but once touched, tapped or are moved around they should close. If in doubt smell them. They will probably have a bad odor if they are dead. When mussels are cooked they should open. If some mussels did not open after cooking them, discard them. However, if half did not open they may not have been cooked long enough. Some mussels will only partially open, if in doubt, discard them.