Archive for March 8th, 2012
White wine & garlic mussels
Mussels are rarely what comes to mind when it comes to a quick, simple and cheap meal, but I think it’s a mistake. When fresh and in season, mussels are usually pretty cheap and they are so quick to prepare that you won’t believe dinner can be ready in such a short time. It’s also a great occasion to eat seafood, something we tend to forget as an important part of a paleo diet. Nutrition and taste wise, mussels are amazing. They are packed full of iron, selenium, vitamin B12, manganese and a host of other essential nutrients. The steam from the white wine and garlic sauce is what cooks the mussels here. The butter in the sauce adds richness and flavor. This kind of preparation is called moules marinières in France, where the dish comes from. Another classic sauce for mussels is a tomato marinara sauce. About a pound of mussels is about what’s needed per person. This recipe is for 4 people.
Try to buy your mussels the same day you prepare them and, if not, keep them in the refrigerator covered with a damp cloth. When ready to prepare, plunge them in cold water, wash them, remove the beard (a stringy-like membrane attached to most of them) and discard any that are opened, even if only slightly. The opened ones are dead and the closed ones are still living. Don’t worry if you have to discard a bunch of them, it’s part of the game.
- 4 lbs fresh mussels;
- 2 cups white wine or chicken stock;
- 2 chopped onions;
- 5 finely chopped cloves garlic;
- 1/3 cup of your favorite chopped fresh herbs (parsley and basil are excellent);
- 6 tbsp butter or ghee;
- Wash, remove the beards and discard any of the opened mussels prior to cooking.
- In a stockpot, combine the whine or stock, onions and garlic, bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes;
- Add the mussels to the pot, cover and increase the heat to medium-high so the sauce boils and creates steam that will cook the mussels.
- As soon as all the mussels have opened, add the herbs and butter or ghee and remove from heat.
- Serve in bowls with the whine wine, garlic and butter sauce.