December 14, 2008 | Appetizers, Fish & Seafood
Nothing warms up a cold winter day like a steaming bowl of mussels. Although they can be intimidating if you’ve never cooked them, they’re really quite simple and make a great dinner or appetizer.Start by soaking them in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes (some people swear by putting a little cornmeal into the water to help them cleanse), pull of any pieces of the beard (looks like seaweed hanging on them), and remove any cracked mussels. Also discard any that won’t shut when lightly tapped on the counter (that means they are dead). Then you’re ready to cook!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 whole shallots, minced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 whole tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 4 cups white wine
- 4 pounds black mussels
- Heat olive oil over medium high in a pot large enough to hold all of the mussels. Add shallots and saute for 1 minute, then add garlic and tomatoes and saute for 1 minute more. Add wine to deglaze the pan and bring to a boil. Add mussels, cover pan, and simmer until mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that didn't open during cooking. Either serve family style in a large bowl, or divide mussels among 8 bowls. Spoon a ladle of the sauce over each bowl and serve immediately with crusty French bread for soaking up the sauce.