Considered one of my favourite consolation meals is a giant bowl of mussels with crusty bread. For those who’ve by no means had mussels earlier than, they’re like clams or oysters and have a briny taste and agency, however creamy texture. Not like clams or oysters, nonetheless, I’ve by no means eaten mussels uncooked and like them in a wealthy sauce.
Take this tomato sauce with bacon and wine, for instance. That is a type of dishes that you just would possibly solely suppose to order in a restaurant, nevertheless it’s truly very doable in a house kitchen! Let’s dig in and make some mussels.
HOW TO SHOP FOR MUSSELS
Recent mussels are available as of late, nevertheless it’s essential to verify for freshness. Recent mussels ought to be alive; their shells ought to be closed, or if they’re barely open, they need to shut when you faucet them flippantly.
You may all the time ask your fishmonger the place they got here from particularly and the way way back they had been harvested. The mussels ought to odor recent, just like the ocean, however not fishy in any respect.
HOW TO STORE AND CLEAN MUSSELS
As soon as you purchase the mussels, you possibly can preserve them on ice within the fridge for a day or two with out fear. Usually, I attempt to purchase mussels the identical day or the day earlier than I’m planning on cooking them.
The one step it’s important to do to scrub the mussels is to take away the “beard.” This can be a tiny, virtually furry piece that stands proud of the facet of every mussel—it’s how they connect to rocks. It isn’t edible. (You may see it protruding of the right-hand facet of the musse within the picture above.)
Undergo every mussel and simply pull this off when you see it. It won’t be on each single mussel, nevertheless it’s a good suggestion to verify. After getting eliminated the beards, rinse all of the mussels with chilly water; to get the mussels very clear, scrub them gently beneath chilly water. Then they’re able to cook dinner!
MAKING THE TOMATO SAUCE
This hearty tomato sauce has so much occurring, however to chop down on the cooking time, I’d suggest utilizing a jarred marinara sauce relatively than beginning with canned tomatoes, which might require an extended simmer time to interrupt down.
If you wish to make a sauce from scratch, nonetheless, by all means go for it. Our fundamental tomato sauce ought to work nice. You’re going to be including to it, anyway!
Begin the sauce with some bacon in a skillet and the fats will begin to soften. Then add the garlic, pink pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and cook dinner for a minute.
Deglaze your pan with wine (or you should utilize vegetable or seafood inventory) to scrape up any bits caught to the pan and pour within the marinara. Carry the marinara combination to a simmer and simmer for five minutes over low warmth.
As soon as the sauce has simmered, add all of your cleaned mussels, cowl the skillet, and allow them to steam for 5 minutes till they’ve all opened. Any mussels that haven’t opened after 5 minutes ought to be discarded.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MUSSELS
There are two choices for serving these mussels.
- Appetizer! Serve the sauce and mussels as a hearty appetizer with crusty bread. Use the bread to sop up the scrumptious sauce and other people can scoop out as many mussels as they need. YUM.
- Dinner! Prepare dinner and drain a pound of spaghetti, and add about three/four cup (or extra) of marinara sauce from the skillet to the spaghetti and stir to mix. Divide the spaghetti amongst plates after which prime with extra sauce and mussels. Garnish the spaghetti with recent parsley. It’s an actual deal with!
MUSSELS DO NOT MAKE GOOD LEFTOVERS
Mussels, sadly, don’t retailer effectively as soon as they’re cooked. I’d plan on consuming any leftovers in a day or two by gently reheating the sauce and mussels over low warmth on the stovetop with a splash of water.
I wouldn’t freeze the sauce. Cooked frozen mussels aren’t a factor. Their texture will get mushy they usually lose their recent taste.