Tuesday, September 21, 2010


We are still having really HOT weather here in Kentucky. What's that got to do with food? Nothing really except I like to keep the heat out of the kitchen. One of my all time favorites are steamed mussels and a cold glass (or 3) of crisp Pinot Grigio.

You can find Blue Mussels at most larger groceries. I usually buy them at Whole Foods because they are very good about checking each one of them. This is an important note. When you are cleaning the mussels, run them under cold water and they should close, if you don't see any movement throw it away. After steaming, if any of them don't open throw it out. That is another good reason to buy seafood from someone who knows what they are doing.

Perfect Every Time Steamed Mussels

Serves 2 as a main dish, 4-6 as an appetizer

2 pounds Blue Mussels, beards removed and cleaned
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 12 oz. beer
12 oz. water
1 lemon quartered
Black Pepper

I use a my large pasta pan with the steamer insert, it makes this much easier. If you don’t have a steamer insert use a large stockpot. Place the cleaned mussels and onions in the steamer basket of your pan. Sprinkle these liberally with black pepper and set aside.

In the stockpot, put the beer, water, squeeze the juice from the lemon quarters (put the rinds in the basket with the mussels). Heat the liquid in the pan until boiling. When it comes to a boil put in the steamer basket with mussels and cover with a lid. Let the mussels steam until they open, about 5 to 8 minutes. It is best to shake the pan a couple of times while they are steaming to even out the cooking. The ones on the bottom cook faster. When they are finished, remove the steamer basket carefully, let it drain slightly then pour all the contents into a large serving bowl or platter. You want all the good pepper and onions to go with the mussels.

Now if you aren’t using a steamer basket, bring the liquids to a boil and then gently add the mussels to the mixture, cover with a lid and steam as above. When they are finished you can just pour them out into a mesh strainer to drain off the liquid.

Serve immediately with some melted butter and lemon wedges. ( I always like to put a little spicy creole mix in the butter.) Make sure you scoop up some onions with the mussels they are oh so sweet.

This makes a great summer time meal. Sit on the deck with a nice glass of wine, a loaf a crusty bread, your sweetheart and some great mussels.

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