Wednesday, March 21, 2012

on turning your kitchen into a french bistro.

i was at the market last week (please note the use of the word "market" to sound more worldly, thank you very much), picking up my regular piece of salmon, when i noticed bags of mussels being sold for five dollars. two pound bags at that. but mussels! i mean, those are fancy things you only get when you go out to eat. but, au contraire (again, please note my haughtiness), after a bit of goggling i found that mussels are not only inexpensive but easy to make. and so i scrounged up an easy recipe from the dependable food and wine and came up with:
with spring starting and summer around the corner, i couldn't have found this recipe a moment sooner. all in it takes about six minutes to make (!), and i paired it with some french fries (thank you freezer section of trader joe's) and garlic mayo. it's not the healthiest recipe, nor will it do wonders for your breath, but it's the most fun i've had in the kitchen in a long time (yes, that deserves a #shitgirlssay).
if your store doesn't sell bags of mussels like mine, you can simply pick them up at the fish counter. about a pound a person is the way to go. as you can see, whenever i cook with wine i always use a cheaper bottle, referenced by the "two buck chuck" cork.
sauté the garlic and shallot for a few minutes before adding the mussels. a minute after adding the mussels, pour in the wine and cover the pot. i recommend using a large pot (unlike me), because it provides the mussels more room to spread out and come into contact with the heat. after about five minutes they should pop open. i fretted that mine weren't opening due to the small pot i used, but then - boom - all of a sudden they all popped open. if a few don't open discard of them - prying it open and insisting on eating it will make you sick. some mussels don't open, so don't worry about it.
stir in the butter and parsley with the sauce left in the pot, and pour over the mussels when the butter has melted.
serve with the garlic toasts mentioned in the original recipe, or some easier to make fries and garlic mayonnaise like i did. about one tablespoon to one minced clove of garlic and a dash of salt will give you the perfect garlic mayo.
bon appetit!

12 comments:

  1. Looks really tasty. I've never cooked with mussels before, but I'm certainly willing to since it's so simple. Plus, anything thrown with a little butter and white wine makes me very happy.

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    1. I hadn't before last night and loved how easy it was. this would also pair with pasta well.

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  2. Aaah mussels! One of my all-time favourite seafood items! We get the ‘boil in the bag’ ones here which already have a pre-made sauce but I always find them a bit lacking, so I will definitely use your recipe (and the more garlic, the better I say)!

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  3. the thought of cooking my own mussels has never even crossed my mind... I just assumed it was something "for the experts." Thank you for this enlightenment! That meal sounds delicious!

    p.s. did you know mussels are said to be an aphrodisiac?

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    1. exactly! I thought it was only for fancy places but it's apparently the easiest thing.

      ha - I didn't know that! I'll have to make this for my boyfriend ;)

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  4. OH. EM. GEE. Mussels are my fAAvorite. Only second to Lobster.

    Fun fact: in the summer Zan goes out into the ocean with scuba gear and collects mussels for dinner. True story! Maybe you can come for dinner sometime??

    And also, I'd like to come to your place too. You look like a top chef!

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    1. he goes and collects them for dinner?! that is too cool. count me in for the next dinner.

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  5. Look at you, fancy lady! Mussels are a legit dinner - I'm impressed with your skills. I don't actually like them but in case I need an impressive but easy mussels recipe when we have company, I'm keeping this one in mind.

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    1. you sound like the best host - making a dish for guests even if you don't like it? top-notch in my opinion. also what i love about this is that it seems so fancy...yet is so simple! my favorite way to impress guests - they think it's fancy and you know the truth.

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  6. ooo fancy pants! I love it! I wish my kitchen were a french bistro right about now :)

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    1. I know I felt so fancy! and it only cost me five dollars :)

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  7. So fancy!!! This looks amazing! I have made clams but never mussels--I need to try this out!

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