I will never forget the day that I first tried mussels. It was like love at first sight. I’ve been addicted ever since. When I started cooking them at home and realized how fast and easy they were to cook, I couldn’t believe it. One of my favorite recipes is by Chef Emeril Lagasse. Try it. Trust, you won’t be disappointed!
Nearly all mussels available at supermarkets or fish markets today are farmed and not harvested wild. However, if wild mussels are available, the best way to rid them of sand and mud is to add about 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour to a large container of salted water. Then add the live mussels (which have not yet been debearded) and let sit in the mixture for 2 to 3 hours. The mussels will eat the flour and purge themselves of debris, as well as plump up. Remember that an open mussel that closes when pressed is good; if the mussel stays open after being pressed, it is bad and should be discarded.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs tarragon
4 pounds live mussels (about 4 dozen), well scrubbed, rinsed, and de-bearded
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
French bread croutons, recipe follows
In a large deep saute pan or pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and herb sprigs, and cook, stirring, until fragrant and the shallots are soft, about 1 minute. Add the wine, pepper, and salt and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the mussels are opened, 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove from the heat and discard any mussels that have not opened. Transfer the mussels and their liquid to a large, deep serving bowl and garnish with the chopped parsley.