If you are learning how to cook mussels, first it is understand what they are. This shellfish, like clams, oysters and scallops fall into the category of mollusks. The other group is crustaceans which includes the lobster, crab and shrimp. Mussels cling to the sea beds and rocks maturing at the age of two.
Mussels can be purchased alive or frozen. When purchasing alive, buy them from a reliable dealer. When purchased the shells should be tightly closed. If the shells are slightly parted a knife tap should make the shell close again. A shell which does not close means the mussel is dead and should be discarded. All mussels which even have cracked shells or seem to be extra heavy (Filled with sand) should be discarded.
If you have learned how to cook mussels, you might to be able to gather them in your area. If this is possible for you to do make sure it is in mussel season. If gathered when not in season the meat could be toxic. It is important to stress that mussels must be in good condition and must be alive when cooking.
Before learning how to cook mussels they must be cleaned thoroughly. Start by scrubbing and scraping the mussels under cold running water. This is to remove all the sand, mud, seaweed and barnacles. What are called “beards” are attached to the shells and are used to attached to the rocks. These will need to be pulled off with some “force”.
If you are learning how to cook mussels they are cooked by steaming which opens up the shells. Often the liquid includes wine, broth or just water. Sometimes vegetables such as onion, celery and garlic are added for flavor.
Put mussels in a kettle with the following ingredients.
Cover the kettle and steam until the mussels open. Throw away any which do not open. Put mussels into a deep dish and keep warm. Strain the liquid from the kettle and simmer. Mix ¼ cup soft butter with 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl; stir into hot liquid. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 clove garlic and simmer until liquid reduces to half. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour liquid over mussels.
Discard any mussels that remain open after tapping; clean and remove beards.
Melt 2 tablespoon butter in 5 quart saucepan over medium high heat.
Add shallots and garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add wine, mussels, salt and pepper and simmer 6 to 8 minutes until shells open stirring occasionally.
With slotted spoon remove mussels to bowl; discard any that remain unopened.
Without disturbing sediment in bottom of pan, pour stock into 1 ½ quart saucepan; heat.
Meanwhile discard halves of mussel shells to which meat is not attached.
Arrange mussels in shells open side up in soup plates.
Stir into hot stock 1 tablespoon butter; pour over mussels and sprinkle with parsley.
Thread four skewers with mussels and bacon strips arranging 2 mussels and 1-2 bacon alternately.
Place bread crumbs in shallow bowl; roll skewers in egg and then in bread crumbs.
Sprinkle skewers lightly with oil; place under hot broiler until brown about 15 minutes.
Sprinkle frequently with the oil and turn often.
Learn how to cook mussels with a basic good recipe.
Place mussels into a large pot; add onion, celery, peppercorn and white wine.
Cover and steam over high heat until they open; DISCARD ANY UNOPENED.
Place mussels onto a deep platter cover and keep warm.
Strain liquid from the lobster pot and bring to a simmer.
Combine flour and butter together in a small bowl; stir into the hot liquid.
Add the vinegar, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.
Continue to cook and stir until mixture is reduced in half.
Pour sauce over the mussels to serve; serve 6.
Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
Place mussels in large pot; add the wine and bay leaf.
Cover pot and cook over high heat shaking pot until shells open.
Drain and remove shells; reserve half of each shell.
In a large ovenproof pan place half shells; arrange mussel’s half shells.
Pour melted butter into small bowl; add breadcrumbs, parsley, chives, garlic, salt and pepper.
Blend mixture well and let set for butter to absorb crumbs.
With fingers pinch about 2 teaspoonfuls and stuff into each mussel shell pressing down.
Bake in hot oven 10 minutes until hot; garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon.
Serve immediately; serves 4.