Mussel In White Wine

A Simple Step By Step Guide To Cooking Mussels

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Never take a chance with shellfish, if you think they may be off don't eat them. Mussels make a great starter or main course. These ingredients will make 4 starters or 2 main courses.

A quick word about mussels; there are about 15 types of edible mussel, however you are only likely to come across a few of these. Most consumers are unable to detect any difference in the taste of the most common species of edible mussels.

Always get your muscles from a reliable supplier, I've seen people collecting mussels on public beaches down the Atlantic coast of France but I've never been brave enough to do this. I've heard several 'horror stories' of people getting food poisoning but it's never happened to me. I take every precaution and always discard any mussel that appear to be dead before cooking. The rule of thumb is that any mussel that remains open (or even partially open) when exposed to the air gets discarded. Mussels that seem too heavy or have broken shells get discarded. In case you hadn't realised....this means that mussels are cooked alive.

Mussels are an incredibly flexible and versatile shellfish, you'll find them in seafood salad, pizza, oven baked. bread crumbed and cooked in a whole range of sauces. In the countries surrounding the English channel, mussels and chips (mosselen met friet, moules e' frites) have become extremely popular.

Mussel Preparation Time: 12 Minutes
Mussel Cooking Time:
10 Minutes

Mussel Ingredients: Serves 2 (as a main course)

1kg mussels with shell
30g butter
A splash of olive oil
2 leeks, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
A large sprig of fresh parsley
150ml of vegetable stock
150ml of dry white wine
Fresh ground salt and pepper

Mussel Cooking Instructions:

  1. Rinse the mussels under the tap, scrub the outside of the shells to clean and trim the 'hairy' beard.
  2. Knock any open mussels hard with an implement (spoon/knife/fork). If they don't shut throw them out. Then wash again.
  3. There is one simply rule with mussels; when they are uncooked throw away any open mussels, when they are cooked throw away any that stay closed.
  4. As with any shellfish take particular care and attention in the cleaning and preparation of your mussels, if you have any concerns at all always check with your fishmonger or shellfish supplier.
  5. Melt the butter gently in a pan large enough (with a lid) to hold the mussels. Add a generous splash of oil with the leeks and garlic and fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  6. Add two thirds of the parsley to the pan and stir gently for about a minute on a low heat, then introduce the wine, salt and pepper (to taste), and stock and bring to the boil.
  7. As soon as the mixture is bubbling place the mussels in the pan gently and cover for two minutes, remove the lid and stir briefly then cover for a further three minutes.
  8. Serve straight from the pan into large bowl, cut the remaining parsley over each bowl with kitchen scissors as garnish.

Mussel Recipes - Your Comments

"Hi Yourcounty, I'm a big fan of the site and have been following your madcap antics since about 2002, very sad at the demise of the Kent Review but still happy to see your brilliant recipe guide is better than ever. Here's an idea mussels in a red wine sauce, now before you press the delete button just think for a minute. I'm not talking about a red imitation of a white wine with light delicate pretensions, I'm suggesting that you cook with Bulls Blood, the dark rich reds from the south of France, Spain and Italy. Something with body and strength enough to old it's own and produce a rich thick sauce, idea with boiled or mashed potatoes, what do you think is it a winner? Jackie Brown"

Dear Jackie, this kind of blew my mind but I'll try it out, is this a fantasy or something you have seen or made yourself? Ed

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