Flex your mussels

I had something interesting in my fridge yesterday…

So I haven’t really cooked with Mussels before but after realizing that I hadn’t blogged something I cooked myself that wasn’t potato pancakes for 9 days I decided it was time to take drastic measures. I ambled into Whole Foods and asked for a pound of mussels. When asking how I should store them until today I realized that they were alive (uh, duh) and would need to be in water (double duh). Yep,  I am the awkward party. Anyways, that’s how I wound up with a container of mussels in my fridge.

Then I started thinking about how they were alive. Then I started to psych myself out. I almost named them. Almost.

Tonight I made a dish out of a self published French cookbook my Mom found at a book sale and sent me. Isn’t it cute?

All the recipes look tasty but mussels remind me of New England so I made Mussels Marinara.

The first thing I had to do was get rid of the sand, grit, and breads. I dissolved a tea spoon of salt in warm water. Then I mixed the warm salt water in a large bowl with cold water. I scrubbed the mussels and placed them in the water bowl. When they were all in the bowl I cut a lemon in half and squeezed it into the bowl. Once I was done squeezing the lemon I placed them in the water bowl.

Let sit for 20 mins. After 20 mins take the mussels out of the water and drain the water out. Then I got started on the sauce!

The recipe calls for a basic white wine based marinara sauce.

You will need:

Red pepper flakes, 2 minced cloves of garlic, half a lemon (ignore the S&P), half a stick of butter, half a container of cut tomatoes with no salt added, and a 1/4 cup of white wine.

I used this kind from South Africa (and obviously, Trader Joe’s).

Start the sauce by heating a tablespoon of EVO and sauteing the garlic and a dash of red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 min, it should be fragrant. Make sure not to burn the garlic!

Then add the butter. Make sure it doesn’t burn.

Once it melts down add the white wine. Let the white wine cook, stirring occasionally, until it reduces. About 4 mins.

Then squeeze half a lemon and add some thyme (however much you like!)

Then add the tomatoes and simmer for 4 mins.

Now, it is time to put on your brave face.

Please note that this is my nervous face. You will see it when I 1) cook mussels, 2) think about the bar exam or 3) hear a loud thump in the middle of the night

I felt like I was committing a small act of genocide. They were opening and for a fleeting moment I thought about keeping one in the fridge as a pet but then I remembered I already have a pet and I just womened up and did it.

I let the mussels simmer in the sauce for four mins and when I took the top off?

Yay everyone opened up!

This recipe makes two servings. Before I made the sauce I cooked two servings worth of brown spaghetti. Once the mussels opened up I combined the pasta and the sauce. Topped it off with parm.

I also played around with some camera effects.

This was a delicious dinner! It was pretty simple to make despite my nerves. I used only one pot so clean up was really simple. The mussels tasted like a summer day in Massachusetts. Using the white wine sauce as a based made the marinara extra special.  The only change I made from my version and the cookbook version was the brown spaghetti. Their recipe calls for angel hair pasta, but I just used what I had on hand. Mussels are a great treat and actually are pretty cheap when purchased by the pound. A nice little treat for the hard studying souls.

Bon Appetit!


5 thoughts on “Flex your mussels

  1. What a brave woman you are!! I haven’t worked with live seafood before, but have memories of my grandma forgetting to put the top on a big pot of blue crabs. I walked in the kitchen from outside only to see my grandma on top of a kitchen chair and a dozen crabs crawling across the floor!

    Hope you have a great Monday!

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