Wish Upon A Dish: A Pot 'o Mussels

September 27, 2012

A Pot 'o Mussels

The only thing better than eating al fresco is eating mussels al fresco.

A two pound bag of Maine mussels runs about $3.99 and is a real bargain, besides, they taste yummy. There were three different mussels to choose from, ones that were harvested in Rhode Island, ones from Massachusetts and the ones I bought, from Maine.

The smaller the better, I think they are sweeter and much more tender. The large ones are excellent for stuffing and baking (just like clams casino).

The process of cooking mussels is as easy as it gets. Make a flavorful broth, throw them in, slap on a lid and steam until they open, usually 3-4 minutes.

Mussels are a good source of Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Phosphorus and Zinc, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin B12, Iron, Manganese and Selenium.
They are low fat and diabetic friendly.

Mussel Broth
* Extra Virgin olive oil
* 1 shallot, minced
* 3-4 slices fresh ginger
* 2 cloves garlic, sliced
* 2-3 slices fresh lemon
* 1 teaspoon Tamari
* Pinch red pepper flakes
* 1/4 cup vermouth

Sort through the mussels, throwing away any ones that remain opened when tapped on a table. In a big bowl place a good spoonful of flour or cornmeal and fill with cold water. Let it rest while you start the grill.

Place the coals to one side so that you can move the pan to the cool spot if the broth is boiling too fast.

Heat a paella pan or a large cast iron pan on the grill and cover the bottom with the olive oil.
Saute the shallot, garlic, ginger and lemon slices for 2 minutes. Add in the vermouth, the pepper flakes and the Tamari. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, throw in the mussels, slap the grill lid down and check after 3 minutes.

Stir the mussels so the sauce hits them all and continue cooking until they all open.

Place the pan on the table and pass some good bread around.

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