Restaurant Style Mussels With Garlic Wine Sauce

Restaurant Style Mussels With Garlic Wine Sauce

Mussels In Wine SauceToday is my birthday. And the tradition in our family is that the birthday girl/boy gets to choose where they’d like to have their celebratory dinner. But this year I wanted to make my own birthday meal. Sometimes making your own birthday dinner is the very best way to go.

My favorite appetizer is mussels in wine sauce. When I order it at restaurants, sometimes I’m delighted. But other times I’m disappointed. You see, mussels themselves are not hard to make. You really can’t screw them up. It’s the sauce that makes or breaks the dish.

So instead of leaving it up to the restaurant gods, I decided to make my own mussels for my birthday dinner. You just don’t want to leave things to chance when you are talking about birthday dinners!

raw musselsSome people are intimidated over cooking with mussels. It’s really quite simple. Here’s what you need to do…

Ask your grocer or fish monger if the mussels are farm raised. If they are farm raised, then that means that they will not be sandy. No need to soak them. Also, farm raised mussels usually have the beards removed before they are bagged. So the takeaway is to look for farm raised mussels if you want less work.

If the mussels are straight from the wild, then they need to be soaked in a bowl of water that has some cornmeal in it. The mussels with suck in the cornmeal/water mixture which will purge the sand out of their system.

If you have three to four pounds of mussels, place them in a large bowl of cool water with about 1/2 cup of cornmeal mixed in. Let them sit in this bath for about 30-45 minutes. Dump the soiled water out and give the mussels a good scrub with a scrubber pad. Then you will be good to go.

The other issue people have is the fear of not recognizing dead mussels. To find the duds, look at the shells. Are they tightly closed? Those are the good ones. If they are open, give them a tap on the shell. If they close, they’re fine. If they stay open, toss them out.

That’s the basics of mussels. Not so scary, right?

ingredientsLike I said earlier, the sauce is the thing that makes this dish sing. There’s not much to it, really. Garlic, shallots, wine, a little citrus. Some simple ingredients that make an extraordinary meal.

sauce for musselsWhen you consider that mussels cost about $2.50 a pound, it blows my mind that restaurants charge as much as they do for this dish. A dish that takes just minutes to make. A quick sauce. A whirl around in a hot pan. And voilá! You have a mussels dish that will rival any restaurant’s offerings.

Now what are you waiting for? Go get a bag of mussels. And don’t forget the bread for soaking up the sauce. It’s the very best part.

mussels in white wine sauce

5.0 from 2 reviews

Restaurant Style Mussels With Garlic Wine Sauce
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Restaurant style mussels at home. All of the flavor at a fraction of the price.
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs mussels
  • 3 Tbsps butter
  • 3 Tbsps olive oil
  • ½ cup shallots, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • ½ Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1¼ cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice
  • 2 tsps kosher salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • A few good cranks of fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Dump mussels into a large bowl and cover with cool water. Set aside.
  2. In a large heavy pot, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Cook shallots until translucent. About three minutes. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant. About another minute or two.
  3. Add tomatoes, thyme, white wine, broth, lemon juice, salt, red pepper and black pepper. Turn up heat to medium high and allow to come to a boil.
  4. Add mussels and cover. Cook for eight to ten minutes. Shake pan every now and again to move mussels around.
  5. Pour into bowl and garnish with parsley and lemon zest. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread to sop up garlic wine sauce.

 

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday Melanie!! What a beautiful looking meal or appetizer, I love, love the pix and I have learned to love mussels too! They are quite marvelous once you know the ‘trick’ to get the sand out. Your cooking and dipping sauce sounds and looks great. I agree with using the bread to get every last drop, that’s the way I roll too! Enjoy your special meal and your birthday; AND I hope your team wins tonight Melanie! :)

    • Thank you! You know what’s funny? Not that long ago I wasn’t a mussels fan either. It’s something that grows on you. Now I love them! I find them incredibly luxurious and so much fun to eat! And yes, go Pats!

  2. Mussels are one of my very favorite eats – I pull ‘em all out of their shells, ask the waiter for a soup spoon, then slurp up my delicious mussel soup – but I’ve never attempted them at home. You make it look so easy (and beautiful), and now I’m inspired to give ‘em a go. Thanks, Melanie!

    • Sounds like we are mussels kindred spirits, lol. It is easy to make! I love them for entertaining but I also like them any other day of the week as well!

  3. We love mussels in this house. It’s my favorite app to order when eating out. I didn’t know the cornmeal trick!! We’ll have to keep it in mind for next time! Happy birthday Melanie!

    • Thanks so much Annie! Yes, the cornmeal trick is a good one. But do keep in mind that most mussels in our region are PEI mussels and are usually farm raised. So, most likely you can skip that step entirely. :) And thanks for the bday wishes!!

  4. I’ve made most all of my own birthday dinners! It’s better that way!

  5. Patricia N. says:

    Hi Melanie,
    Happy belated birthday! Hope it was a good one and that you enjoyed your mussels. I will have to try this recipe; I also love mussels. The last time I bought some to cook, my husband and I found at least one tiny pearl in each one. What a surprise, but such an unexpected treat.
    Are you aware that you get a free meal on your birthday at the Charlie Horse? No coupon to clip, either. Just go in with at least one other person, show your license and any meal on the menu is free. You also get a cupcake for dessert. It can be the most expensive meal on the menu, too. Not a equal or lesser value thing.
    I usually get the steak tip Caesar salad; delicious! They also make a killer fisherman’s platter, but there’s so much fried seafood in it, that I usually get a side salad to fill up on and take most of the platter home to last 2-3 more days.
    Think about it for next year; their food is amazing. There is one in Kingston and one in West Bridgewater.

    • I haven’t been to The Charlie Horse in forever. They have yummy wings. Thanks for the birthday tip. A free meal there would be great! The kids like it too.

  6. I am so intimidated when it comes cooking with mussels. I’m going to try your recipe and see if I can make them like this.

  7. I’m always on the look-out for a nice and simple mussel recipe and yours looks scrumptious. Happy birthday!

  8. Happy birthday! I agree that sometimes making your own bday dinner is probably better because you know what you want. :-) And mussels is the clever way to go. We have all sorts of shellfish here and I love it! I always make mine simple with ginger, scallions and sliced chillies. I need some now.

  9. Oh that looks so good – I am definitely going to try it!

  10. Happy belated birthday Melanie! I don’t eat seafood, but this looks really yummy! :)

  11. Love your recipe! Would like to incorporate creme. When should I ad this?

  12. Thank you so much for this recipe. i have never been on this site before and it was random google search in which I found your site and tried this recipe for mussels. It’s my fiancé’s favorite meal and i made it last night for New Years Eve and it was amazing. We were both surprised at how good these came out and it will always be remembered for being a part of our special new years eve together. FYI – We used chardonay and 4 teaspoons of garlic. this recipe is a keeper and i will definitely not only making again but will also be trying more of your recipes. Happy New Year!

    • I am delighted that you liked the recipe and took the time to let me know that you enjoyed it! Thank you so much! Happy New Year!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I’ve shared a recipe for mussels with you before, but that recipe was a white wine and garlic based dish. And while it is one of my all time favorite mussel recipes, I thought I’d share another [...]

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