The summer is almost over, but I don’t give up on the good old seafood. I have prepared a nice big meal of steamed mussels with white wine for Saturday lunch. They are so delicious, that not even one mussel left in the pan, just our satisfied smiley faces!
Steamed mussels are very easy and quick meal to do, but before you get to the cooking part, there are some preparation procedures to be followed.
1) First of all whisk together 1/2 cup of flour and 4 cups of water in a large mixing bowl. Add the mussels to the flour-water mixture, topping off with water as needed to cover all of them. Keep the mussels for an hour to soak in order for the sand to disgorge, if any.
2) Pour the mussels in your sink, under cold water and begun to rinse and scrub them (I used the rough side of a sponge).
3) Remove all beards.
4) Discard any mussels with cracked shells or any with open shells, that don’t close when tapped.
These are the basic steps in cleaning and preparing your mussels for cooking, but if you want more details, you can check in this website:
Now the most fun part – the cooking!
2 kg (4 lbs) mussels with the shells
2 onions (shallots) – cut into small pieces
1 red pepper (cut into small pieces)
5 cloves garlic, minced
200 ml. chili sauce (the one I have is very mild, that is why I used so much, if your chili sauce is very hot, you can mix it with a little bit tomato puree, or just use the amount you want)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 glasses white wine
5 table spoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch of red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
Heat a deep sauté pan, wok, or medium pot (whatever you use, make sure you have a lid for it) over medium-high heat.
Since mussels double their volume, probably you will cook them on parts.
I used a medium pot, and had to cook the mussels in 3 parts.
So I divided all of the ingredients in 3, and started with the first batch.
Heat the olive oil. Add the shallots, garlic, peppers and spices and cook until golden brown. Add the chili sauce and cook for another minute. Add the white wine and wait until heated up. Add the mussels, stir everything and put the lid on. Cook until mussels open (about 5-7 mins), as stirring occasionally.
Repeat the same for all of the mussels.
Serve and eat immediately.
Tip: One of the best garnishes for steamed mussels is french baguette with garlic, butter and herbs. Cut it in slices, spread the minced garlic and butter, and bake for a couple of minutes until crisp and delicious.