Who doesn’t love a little bit of seafood?
You’re probably picturing some freshly-caught cod right now. Or perhaps a little bit of salmon that will get those essential fatty acids into your system.
But what about shellfish?
Sure, you have the likes of lobster and crab as your heavy hitters. But mussels have plenty to offer as well. From their unique taste to their versatility, these unique little shellfish are ideal for creating tasty seafood dishes that offer a little more than the standard fare.
They’re a favouritein the UK too. Most fish and chip shops sell small mussels by the jar.
But what if you want something a little extra?
What if you want to add a little bit of Italian wine into the mix to make your mussels even more interesting?
That’s where this blog post is going to come in handy. We’ve scoured the web to find an amazing musselsand Italian white wine recipe for you to enjoy.
This recipe comes directly from the good people at BBC Good Food and it will help you understand why mussels are one of the most underappreciated types of seafood around.
Let’s jump right into what you need to make this delectable dish.
The great thing about this dish is that it takes barely any time at all to make. After 15 minutes of preparation and 5 minutes of cooking, you’ll have a meal that’s ideal for filling the gap during lunchtime.
Here’s what you need to make it.
- A small glass of Italian white wine. It’s completely up to you which wine you choose, but we recommend steering away from anything that has too sharp a taste. High acidity and citrusflavoursmight overpower the more subtle flavoursof this dish.
- A single shallot, which you should chop finely.
- A little bit of chopped parsley.
- About 1kg (2.2 pounds) of mussels. Leave them in their shells.
With your ingredients ready, it’s time to prepare the dish. The good news is that this is an easy one to make. That means it’s ideal for the novice chef who’s just looking to make something that will impress their friends.
These arethe steps that you need to follow:
Grab a large bowl and fill it with clean cold water. Pour all of your mussels into the water and use your hands to swish them around the bowl. You’re looking to clean your mussels as much as possible so you get rid of any dirt or grit that might be in the shells.
From there, check each mussel individually and use a knife to remove any barnacles that you find. Get rid of any mussel that has a cracked shell as the mussel’s quality may be compromised.
You’re not quite finished preparing the mussels just yet.
You should notice that each mussel has a small beard. If you can’t find it, check the shell’s join. You should see something brown and wispy here that almost resembles hair.
Using your knife as support, give each beard a good tug so that it detaches. Be careful not to put your finger through the mussel shell as you do this.
As a side-note, not all mussels have beards. This is okay, so you don’t need to discard any that don’t have them.
Now, check the mussels to see if any of them have open shells.
If you spot any that do, give them a sharp tap against the bowl. The mussel should close its shell in response to the tap.
If that doesn’t happen, get rid of the mussel. It’s died, which means it’s rotting away in the shell. That makes it inedible.
After going through all of this prep work, rinse all of the mussels that you have left under cold running water. This should get rid of any stray bits of barnacle or shell.
Finally, pour your mussels into a colander and shake lightly to get rid of the excess moisture.
It’s not time to start cooking.
Grab a large pan and pour your mussels into it. The key is that the mussels should not fill more than half of the pan. If that happens, find a bigger pan.
The reason for this is that you need to give the mussels plenty of room when they’re cooking. Otherwise, they’re not going to cook properly.
Once you have the right pan, add your chopped shallot and Italian white wine.
Plan the pan over a high flame and cover it tightly with a lid. You’re looking to steam the mussels.
When the pan starts to produce steam, leave it over the high flame for between 3 and 4 minutes. Give the pan an occasional shake to move your mussels around and ensure that they cook evenly.
Keep an eye on your mussels. You’ll know that they’ve cooked properly when the shells open up. This tells you that the mussel has died and is ready to eat.
Sometimes, the shell won’t open on its own. If that happens, try to open it yourself. If the mussel is cooked, the shell should open up with very little effort.
Take the pan off the flame once all of your mussels are cooked. Grab a handful of your chopped parsley and sprinkle it over the mussels.
Now, grab a spoon and add the mussels to some pre-warmed bowls.
Pour the remaining white wine mixture over the mussels and enjoy!
The Final Word
It really is as simple as that.
Most of the difficulty that comes from cooking mussels lies in allof the preparation beforehand. Once you know how to check your mussels so you can get rid of any that you shouldn’t eat, you’ll speed the process up even more.
Finally, we have the Italianwine recommendation.
Give both a whirl to see which you prefer.
I’m a passionate about good wine and good cooking.
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