If you are looking for an easy seafood dinner, mussels steamed in white wine and garlic sauce is for you. This delicious recipe makes a hearty dinner for two or an appetizer for four in less then 30 minutes. Serve the mussels with some crusty bread for soaking up the flavorful broth or over pasta and you have a elegant meal.
My husband loves mussels. I don’t think he has ever met a mussel he didn’t like! If they are on the menu he is sure to order them. That works out well for me, because I get to share in the bountiful plate of mollusks that is set in front of him. Our favorite way to eat mussels is simply prepared in a white wine and garlic sauce. I have made this recipe several times in the last couple of months. It can easily fit into a low carb diet plan and it is perfect for those of us looking for tasty meatless meal ideas.
One thing that might surprise you is how inexpensive mussels are. I bought 2 pounds of mussels the other day and spent about $5.00. Considering that it was enough for a nice dinner for two, that is quite reasonable. Unlike their freshwater cousins which are endangered and not edible, there is no shortage of marine mussels and they are quite delicious. Marine mussels are what you will see in the fish markets and grocery stores. Lucky for us they reproduce easily and are farmed and harvested throughout the year.
Storing and cleaning mussels
Mussels should be alive when you purchase them. If a mussel is open and you tap the shell, it should react and close. Mussels that are already closed are alive and are safe to eat. Fresh mussels will have a subtle ocean scent, not a strong fishy smell.
When you bring them home, place them in a bowl, cover them with a wet paper towel and store them in the refrigerator. Don’t rinse them until you are ready to cook them. Soaking them in fresh water may actually harm them and you want to cook them while they are still alive.
To clean mussels, rinse them under cold water and use your fingers or a brush to remove any dirt from the shell. Mussels have a very strong fibrous thread that they use to attach themselves to the substrates in the ocean. This thread is referred to as the “beard” and it needs to be removed before cooking . Using a paring knife, grab it between the knife and your finger and pull it toward the hinge of the shell until it releases. Many of the mussels will have released their beards already.
How to make Mussels Steamed in White Wine and Garlic Sauce
Mussels cook quickly and take on the flavors of the ingredients they are cooked in. They will give off additional liquid which will add a subtle seafood flavor to your dish. This recipe of mussels in white wine and garlic, will steam the mussels in a butter and garlic sauce.
Start by sautéing shallots and garlic in butter in a large pot. Add white wine, salt and thyme and allow the sauce to come to a boil. Now add the mussels and stir them to coat all of the mussels. Put the lid on the pot and allow the mussels to steam until they have all opened, which should take about 5 minutes. Give them a good stir and ladle the mussels into bowls. Add more butter to the sauce and stir until the sauce is silky and the butter is completely melted. Ladle sauce over the mussels and enjoy!
Mussels steamed in white wine and garlic sauce are wonderful served over linguini or accompanied with a loaf of bread for soaking up the delicious sauce.
Here are some of my other favorite appetizers:
Mussels in White Wine and Garlic
- 2 lbs. Mussels
- 5 tbsp. Butter
- 1 Shallot large, diced
- 3 cloves Garlic sliced or chopped
- 1½ cups White wine dry
- 1 tsp Salt Kosher
- 4 sprigs Thyme fresh
- 1 tbsp. Parsley Chopped
- Scrub the mussels under cold water and de-beard them (using a pairing knife, remove the stringy fibers from the edges of the mussels) and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoon of butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
- Sauté the shallots and garlic in the butter until tender, about a minute.
- Add the white wine, salt and thyme sprigs and stir. Bring to a boil.
- Add the mussels to the wine and stir well. Place the lid on the pot and let the mussels steam in the wine for about 5 minutes or until all of the mussels have opened.
- Divide the mussels between two bowls, removing them from the pan using tongs or a ladle, leaving the liquid behind.
- Add the 3 remaining tablespoons of butter to the liquid and stir until it is melted. Ladle the broth over the mussels, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.