This recipe is so delicious and so easy. The most difficult part was cleaning the mussels, and even then, it was a simple task (the mussels I purchased were quite clean already). Who needs to go to a restaurant for a fancy dinner when you can quickly, and easily cook this elegant meal at home. You can even drink the leftover wine you used to cook with (my favourite part).
I was inspired by my local grocery store, which had a weekend demonstration during which they cooked mussels for customers to try. They were trying to increase sales, and I think they did a good job because there I was buying mussels for dinner. Scroll all the way down for the recipe!
Buying the mussels was easy since they came in netted bags of 2 lbs. They were pretty clean mussels. A bag cost $4.99.
Mussels are quite easy to cook. The hard part is the cleaning. The ones I purchased were really, really clean. It did not take much effort to remove whatever remaining beards were still attached the the mussels (there were hardly any). Cleaning was not this easy before, from what I remember. I might actually cook mussels more often, now.
HOW MANY MUSSELS COULD NOT BE USED
Mussels should be closed when you wash them. This is how you know that they are still alive. If they are open, you can gently tap them to see if they close. I encountered a couple that were open. After I tapped them, they remained open! I put them in a separate discard pile, and when I came back to them later they closed so I added them to my ‘cook’ pile. If a mussel remains open, it should be discarded since it may be dead, and it would be difficult to tell how long it has been dead for.
The bag of mussels weighed 907 g. The final count of mussels in the netted bag was 57. Of the 57 mussels, 45 were good, and 12 could not be used. That is roughly a 20% discard rate, which is higher than I thought it would be. I did not purchase more mussels to match the quantity in the recipe, I just used whatever was leftover.
WHAT TYPE OF WHITE WINE DO I USE
The recipe calls for a dry white wine. Examples of dry white wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio / Gris, and Riesling. I went to the wine store to see what fit the bill, and what was on sale! I ended up with the Saint and Sinner Pinot Grigio for just under $10.
HOW WAS THE WINE
I would definitely buy the Saint and Sinner Pinot Grigio again. It was on the fruitier and lighter side. At under $10, it’s a good value wine.
RECIPE FOR MUSSELS WITH GARLIC BUTTER MUSHROOM WHITE WINE SAUCE
The recipe is super duper simple…
- 2 lbs (or 1kg) Mussels
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 red onion, finely chopped (or 1 shallot, finely chopped)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 200 g King Oyster Mushrooms
- 4 tbsp parsley, chopped (optional)
There is some flexibility in this recipe, so don’t worry about getting the quantities bang on. Try to stay close though, so you don’t have any overpowering flavours. I like my recipe extra garlicky, so I take it right up to 8 cloves of garlic.
- Scrub mussels under cold running water. Remove the stringy beards as you wash them. Discard any mussels with cracked, or broken shells, or if they remain open
- Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic (and parsley if you wish), and cook until softened (approximately 5 minutes).
- Add the mussels and the white wine. Cover and let steam over medium – high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mussels are cooked when all the shells have opened.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley, if desired and serve immediately.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE…
This dish tastes great with a crusty bread like a french bread. You can use the bread to soak up all that yummy sauce! Save that sauce! Mmmmm…
Do not overcook the mussels or else they will get rubbery in texture.
The mussels should be closed when washing them – that’s how you know they are alive. You can use your discretion here, but if any of the mussels remain closed after cooking you can choose to discard them.
Another option is to add marinara sauce near the end of the cooking process for a different flavour.
Did I mention that this recipe is soooo good, and soooo delicious, and sooooooo easy?!