Time to display your Spanish mussels. These bivalves, which are a favorite among shellfish, may be prepared quickly and taste great. For this Mussels, I chose the most well-liked method of cooking mussels: steaming them in a flavorful broth to bring out their inherent sweetness and brininess. Sun-dried tomatoes and the zesty, lemony za’atar flavor were added to the traditional ingredients like shallots and white wine to give this soup even more reason to be dipped in warm bread. This recipe is ideal for giving to a large gathering of friends or family because it bakes in a 13″ by 9″ pan. For single servings, choose shallow, broad serving bowls to make it simpler to get at the tasty soup.
Mussels are commonly available and typically sold by the pound because they can live in both fresh and saltwater. They also have lighter, thinner shells than clams and oysters, which results in a more inexpensive shell-to-meat ratio.
How to buy and keep Spanish mussels
Look for mussels offered on ice or in mesh bags when purchasing them at your neighbourhood grocery store or seafood market. An explanatory tag on the mussels should provide the harvest date, best by date, and nutritional data. There are wild and farmed varieties, although the vast majority (almost 90%) of mussels sold commercially are farmed. Mussels’ shells must be completely sealed and odor-free. They should smell like the ocean when they are at their freshest. Avoid any that have shells that are broken or damaged. Make sure the mussels are transported home in a bag with ventilation rather than a completely airtight one so they can breathe. Store them in the coldest area of your refrigerator, covered with a clean, damp kitchen towel, in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a 13″ by 9″ baking dish.
How to check for dead mussels
Mussels are living and react to temperature, so if the air is a little heated around them, they can begin to open up a little. It’s still functional if you tap it and it closes. It must be thrown away if you tap it and it stays open since it is dead. You shouldn’t eat dead mollusks because when they are cooked, dangerous poisons are released.
How to clean and debeard mussels
After getting rid of any dead mussels, wash the shells with cool water and a clean brush (a dish brush, perhaps, or even a firm toothbrush) or sponge submerged in cold water to get rid of any grit or grime on the mussel’s surface. Additionally, mussels that have been raised in captivity will have a scraggly brown tuft on the flat side of their shell that they utilise to cling to the rope they are grown on. The “beard” should be removed before cooking; it is referred to as such. Pinch the beard between your fingers and pull up and down till it comes off the mussel to be removed.
How to cook Spanish mussels
Actually, cooking the mussels is a simple process. When heated to a high temperature, mussels react fast and finish cooking in 7 to 8 minutes. Make a tasty broth, bring it to a simmer, add the mussels, cover, and cook for a short while until all of them are open. Decide on a big pot with a secure lid. The pot needs to be large enough for the mussels to open (at least 5 quarts for this recipe). The mussels will be cooked and infused with the taste of the broth if the lid is tightly fitting and allows the temperature and steam inside the pot to rise. Use this traditional recipe for mussels with tomatoes and garlic to make the broth.
What to serve with mussels
The traditional French bistro dish of mussels and French fries, moule frites, comes to mind when I think of mussels. Spanish rice, buttery garlic noodles, or crusty, toasted bread are also acceptable accompaniments.
Remove the meat from the shell and refrigerate it in the broth in an airtight container for up to three days if you have leftovers. Having a seafood coma? See these seafood supper suggestions that are suitable for a weekday.
- 4 oz. thick-cut bacon, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- Kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 c. dry white wine
- 1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 lb. fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. za’atar seasoning
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- Toasted crusty bread, for serving
- Bacon should be cooked for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, in a heavy 5-quart Dutch oven or pot. Transfer the bacon to a dish lined with paper towels using a slotted spoon.
- Shallots, tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt should be cooked in the same pot over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. For about a further minute, while stirring, sauté the garlic and thyme until aromatic. Bring to a simmer after adding the wine, broth, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mussels can be added to simmering soup. For 7 to 8 minutes, with the lid on, boil the mussels. Discard those that are still unopened.
- Leaving the broth in the pot, transfer the mussels to a 13″ x 9″ pan. Pour broth over mussels after incorporating butter and za’atar into it. Finish with the bacon and parsley you saved. Serve alongside bread.