Sunday, June 3, 2012

Show Some Muscle

Remember that time when Food Beautiful went quiet for a couple months? Yeah, that was crazy and ridiculous. But now we have muscles so it's all good.

Coming in close second to my favorite meal of champagne and oysters is mussels. They are super simple to cook and pretty cheap to buy here in our quiet little town. I'm talking 4 bucks for day-caught mussels which is enough to feed a table of four. Ah happy bellies and happy wallets.
Food and Coaster Courtesy of Our Beach Town

3-4 leeks cleaned and chopped, white parts only
3-5 cloves of garlic, I like 5!
2 lb mussels, prepped
1 cup of white wine, I use sauvignon blanc
olive oil
loaf of bread (day old is even better)

Muscle Prep
Rinse your mussels in cold water in a colander. It's also important to rip off the tiny mussel beard, which looks like the string hanging from each mussel. (This is where you'll need to use those muscles.) Grab the string-like part and pull it towards the back of the mussel or the end that doesn't open. You should be able to rip it right out - this is great for relieving any stress from the day. Note: any mussels that don't close when you tap them should be thrown out.

Quickest Most Decadent Meal Ever
In a large heavy bottom skillet (that has a lid) heat up a couple of tablespoons of oil and 2Tbsp of butter. The mix of the two is key here to get that yummy broth at the end. Next you'll want to add the leeks and garlic and saute until they are nice and translucent, about 5 minutes. (fyi: I'm pretty sure I could eat a bowl of leeks at this point)

Throw in the mussels and add your cup of wine. Stir so everything is incorporated and cover with the lid. At this point the mussels are cooking and will take about 5-10 minutes to cook. The best part is they tell you when they are done - once mussels open they are good to go. Note: Any that have not opened should be thrown out. Remove the mussels from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Now we create the broth - add salt and pepper to taste to your broth. Keep the lid off and cook the liquid until it's reduced. You can add another 2 Tbsp butter if you like, but I usually just go with straight olive oil at this point. Broth should be done in another 5-10 minutes and you end up with this...
the best dish ever
It's wine and olive oil and garlic all waiting to be devoured with some muscles and good crusty bread.

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