Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Cooking: Mad About Mussels


Inspired by Trish's latest Pin It and Do It Challenge, this week's post is about my experience preparing mussels at home. I love most types of fish and shellfish, but only developed a taste for mussels within the past couple of years. Actually, I never even tried them until our favorite local restaurant began offering Thai Curry Mussels as an appetizer. Initially I sampled just the broth from my husband's bowl, but the second time we ordered it I had worked up the courage to try a mussel, too. I suppose that over the years I'd convinced myself I didn't like them, and was shocked to discover they were delicious!

We soon found ourselves splitting mussels as an appetizer whenever the opportunity presented itself. The range of flavors was astonishing and I began to wonder if I could replicated any of them at home. Wegmans almost always has fresh mussels available, but a little research was necessary.

As I began pinning recipes, it hit me that I didn't know how to clean or prep the mussels. A quick search turned up this pin which lead to the article "How to Clean Mussels" at allrecipes.com. It told me all I needed to know... with photos. A Pinterest win!


The first recipe I tried was this pin for Curried Mussels from A Beautiful Bite. It was very tasty, but with heavy cream and full-fat coconut milk, not quite as healthful as I would have liked. It also had a strong Indian flavor, not like the Thai from our local restaurant. A qualified success, but I was so wrapped up in the preparation that I forgot to take a picture. This one if from Pinterest.



Next up was Mussels with White Wine from epicurious.com (my pin). The cooking technique was the same as my first attempt, but this recipe was much lighter and more to our taste. It definitely earned on spot in my recipe collection. I even remembered to photograph the finished product, although the one from the website looks much more appealing.


Sometime over the next couple of weeks, I plan to try Thai Steamed Mussels. This could be even closer to the restaurant dish. We'll see...

Do you like mussels? Have you prepared them at home? I'm open to suggestions.


Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

40 comments:

  1. I love mussels but never made them at home. I always thought the cleaning would be a pain. I'll check out your source for how to clean and see what I think. Yay for Wegman's -- I love their seafood.

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    1. Beth F - The cleaning was really not as difficult as I'd imagined.

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  2. I've had mussels and enjoy them but don't order them often and can't see the others in my house touching them. I do like the flavors of Thai cooking though! I keep hearing about Wegmans--wishing we had one here!

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    1. Trish - I'm so thankful my family has finally grown into a bung of adventurous eaters... though it's taken nearly 20 years ;-)

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    1. Diane - Even if I had a Whole Foods and Trader Joe's nearby, I'd still shop at Wegmans!

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  4. I love mussels. I think the cleaning sounds messy so I have yet to attempt them at home. Both recipes look great.

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    1. Linda - Cleaning the mussels wasn't as much of a pain as I thought :)

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  5. I've never made mussels at home, although I did once in a cooing class. I love the whole story of pins and recipes and instructions and trials. A good demonstration of how modern home cooking works.

    Joy's Book Blog

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    1. Joy - I've gone from recipes torn from magazines and newspapers, to cookbooks, and now, more often than not, I'm cooking while reading the recipe from a computer screen... how times have changed!

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  6. I love mussels more than any other shellfish, I think. We don't cook them at home often enough.

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    1. Care - Mussels are my new favorite!

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  7. That this is a great use of Pinterest - how wonderful to be able to recreate something you love in a restaurant. I've never had mussels (of course, they don't ever show up in our groceries fresh!).

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    1. Lisa - I can why fresh mussels rarely end up in Omaha :-(

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  8. Have never tried mussels. Do they taste more like clams or oysters?

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    1. jama - Mussels are sweeter and more chewy than clams, and I like them much better. Have only had oysters raw, so not sure I could make a comparison there.

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  9. Unfortunately I had one bad experience with mussels and now can't bring myself to eat them. Cheers

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    1. Carole - That sounds like me and scallops :-(

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  10. Nope, just can't bring myself to eat them! They are very common in restaurants in Maine but yuk! Looks like a lot of work too.

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  11. I love them but ever since I read Kitchen Confidential I had lost my own confidence to prepare them. I need to get over that because wow....they are solo good. Love your recipe here.

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    1. Tina - I read Kitchen Confidential before I started eating mussels and I can't remember what he said about them... that's probably a good thing!

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  12. I LOVE mussels, but they're pretty much only 'eat while out' territory, as I have a small kitchen that I share with my roommates and there's an unspoken NO SEAFOOD rule for the fridge (I do get fish, never fear!). You're brave to make them at home!

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    1. Cecelia - A no seafood rule? I love it!! I have a second refrigerator in the garage and seafood always ends up there.

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  13. We love mussels. I generally make them in a garlicky tomato sauce--also light and pretty healthy.

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    1. Amy - I have another recipe pinned that sounds similar to yours and look forward to trying it!

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  14. I had mussels for dinner last night, although I was dining out. I've cooked them at home - nothing scientific: just some chopped tomatoes, a little white wine, maybe a squeeze of lemon, s&p. Sorry I can't be more helpful than that.

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    1. Debbie - That actually sounds a lot like the second recipe I prepared.

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  15. That looks and sounds delicious! I don't often cook them at home but when I do it's in a garlicy tomato sauce. Mmm

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    1. Trish - I have another recipe pinned that uses tomato and garlic. Can;t wait to try it!

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  16. Mussels are yummy! I prefer white wine based sauces and some yummy bread to soak up the remaining sauce. It's one of my go-to appetizers at restaurants. I haven't worked up the courage to cook them yet as they sound a bit complicated on the preparation front. Things with shells I normally avoid since I such as cooking in general. Perhaps my husband will one day give them a shot at home. He's the far more advance chef.

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    1. Brooke - A good crusty bread to go with mussels is a must!!

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  17. I'm not one for mussels but I do enjoy watching the cooks prepare them. They make such an appealing dish but they aren't for me. I'm glad you are finding new recipes to try though!

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    1. Darlene - I think most people feel pretty strongly one way or the other about mussels... funny that I could change sides so fast!

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  18. I love mussels - one of my favourite seafoods, and something I prepare quite often as they are very plentiful here and relatively inexpensive. My favourite way to cook them is with chilli and lime - makes for a nice, light dish that packs plenty of flavour.

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    1. Couscous & Consciousness - I'll be that's delicious!! Never considered chili and lime for mussels, but I love that flavor combination - thanks.

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  19. The first time I had mussels and fries was in Britanny. They were delicious.

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    1. Esme - I am certain mussels are even more delicious in Brittany! ;-)

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  20. I tried mussels for the first time last year while visiting my daughter in Dallas. They were very good (white wine, garlic, butter sauce), but I haven't had them since that visit. As Lisa mentioned, we can't get them fresh, so I doubt I'll ever attempt to make them at home. Well, that and the fact that my husband wouldn't eat them. :)

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    1. Les - I understand why it would be tough to get fresh mussels in Nebraska. I think one of the best things about travel is to eat food not readily available at home.

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