We're on Part 2 of what I foresee as being a continuing series here on Bake, Braise & Broil (see Part 1 here!). I love mussels. They're cheap, they're sustainable and they're delicious. I think a lot of people are turned off cooking mussels because of inexperience and the 'intimidation' factor. Fret not, we're in this together and I think you're going to be surprised at how easy they really are.
For those who live near an ocean, I'm jealous. For the rest of us, Costco (yup!) brings in fresh farmed mussels and they are pretty stellar. And cheap. You get 8 pounds of these tasty morsels for under twenty bucks!
This version nestles mussels in a tasty, zingy tomato and garlic broth. Sweetness comes from caramelizing onions and red pepper flakes bring a touch of heat. Cooked with the mussels you get a delicious tomato-garlic-seafood stew. Salty, briny and sweet. And it's dead simple.
Once you've got your base, your whole meal comes together in 5 minutes. If you're strapped for time, this is an amazing weeknight meal. Make the broth on the weekend (or whenever you have time). Reheat and then cook your mussels and you have dinner in 10 minutes.
Absolutely necessary for this recipe is some toasted bread. That delicious broth your making? It is even better when you sop it up with some fresh bread. So, while your cooking the mussels, throw some bread brushed with olive oil under the broiler.
The mussels cook quickly once they're added to the boiling broth - be careful not to overcook them. They will only need 3-4 minutes to cook. Once they've opened they are done, take them off the heat.
To serve, I take the mussels and place them on a platter. I divide the broth in half, pouring half directly over the mussels. The other half, I divide among ramekins so everyone can coat each and every mussel in delicious sauce. The "dunk factor". It's also perfect for dipping bread into.
I hope you guys give mussels a go - they'll quickly become a favourite! Until next week...