For years people have been trying to convince me how easy mussels are to make. Add a bit of wine or broth, bring it to a boil, add the mussels and steam. So why have I not taken them up on such simple advice? Well, one reason is because I don’t like mussels. *Gasp!* No, please don’t run away! I’m still game for trying almost any other food. It’s just shellfish. Mainly things you have to eat out of the shell, like oysters, clams and yes, mussels. It’s a texture thing.
I keep saying I’m going to make mussels for my husband–he loves them, but never really worked off the energy. It’s challenging enough to make one dinner, but two separate ones? Ugh. But when I got assigned Cinnamon Freud’s blog this month through the Secret Recipe Club and saw Karen’s Mussels in White Wine Sauce, I figured I had to just go for it.
My husband had just worked a double shift at the Park Slope Food Coop. Given it was his fault for missing his last shift, penalizing him with two make up shifts, but I still felt bad that he was out by 8am and stuck at the Coop until nearly 1pm. On a Saturday. With my weekly trip to the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, it was easy to swing by Blue Moon Fish and pick up a pound of mussels. The woman behind the register looked at me like I was crazy. Generally mussels are 1 pound per person. I think I was the only person she ever saw asking for a single pound, nothing else.
Once I got them home with the rest of my greenmarket finds, the recipe was super easy. I altered the recipe a bit replacing garlic with garlic scapes, parsley with rosemary and adding a little extra cream. Minus the chopping, less than 20 minutes, pot to plate. While I had no interest in the mussels themselves (though my husband praised them highly), I found myself sopping up every last bit of the sauce with the extra bread I had. I could definitely do this again. Mussels for hubby and bread and sauce for me…why not?
Streamed Mussels in White Wine Cream (Adapted from Cinnamon Freud) Serves 2
- 2 lb mussels
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- 1 spring onion, diced
- 1/3 c chopped garlic scapes (about 3)
- 1/2 c dry white wine
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
Sort through mussels and discard any that have already opened. Clean well by placing mussels in a colander and running under cold water to remove sand and bits of seaweed.
Heat butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallot and onion, cooking until just tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic scapes and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Add white wine, scraping down any brown bits, and then stir in heavy cream. Bring to a slow boil and cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
Add mussels and cover pan with a lid. Steam for 5 minutes, until mussels have opened. Serve mussels in a bowl with a little bit of sauce and plenty of fresh crusty bread on the side. Serve with garlic bread.