Sunday, November 4, 2012

Steamed Mussels in White Wine and Leek Broth

I love mussels. They are rich in taste, low in price and calories and they cook in a few minutes. Cheap, quick, easy, low calorie and delicious = my five favorite things. This recipe makes a great romantic dinner for two when you add a loaf of french bread and some prosecco.

You'll need: 
- 1 lb mussels, fresh or frozen in their own juices (Aldi has these and they're great)
- 8 oz frozen leeks
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 oz (about a half a can) chicken broth
- 2 tbs butter
- 1/3 cup white wine

Calories: 210 a serving

I've already talked about how much I love frozen leeks, but with mussels I don't have a preference.  Frozen mussels will already be prepped and cleaned for you.  If you're getting fresh mussels, you'll have to scrub them a bit to remove grit and de-beard them. The Kitchn has a great how to on prepping mussels. It takes about 15-20 minutes to clean them, so take that into account. Also note that fresh mussels are only good in the fridge for 2-3 days so it is really best to buy these the day of cooking.

1) Grab a large, deep cooking pan with a lid and heat over  medium. Place the thawed leeks and the garlic cloves, minced, in the pan with 1/2 tbs butter. Cook until the leeks have softened.

2) Add the wine, broth and the rest of the butter and let that cook for about 5 minutes so they flavors develop. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Leeks, garlic white wine, broth and butter getting all yummy and stuff.

3) Throw in the mussels and put the lid on the pan. Fresh mussels will cook in about 3-4 minutes and frozen will take about 5-6 minutes. When most of the mussels have opened it means they're done.

Oh yeeeeeaaah...

It's an old wives tale that mussels that don't open when cooked are bad. It just means the muscle of the  mussel didn't loosen up enough to open. Crack it anyway, and if it's thoroughly cooked (it will have a "raw" texture and smell very fishy if it's uncooked) eat that sucker up!

Serve this with a crusty french baguette to sop up the extra juices at the bottom. I usually just move the pan straight to the table, put it on top of a trivet or potholder (because it's hot, duh) and we dig right in. Be sure to bring a bowl for the discarded shells to the table as well.

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