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Cook Mussels

Cook Mussels

Mussels are extremely versatile! Steamed in court-bouillon, mussels can be prepared a million ways!

Mussels are also delicious marinated, grilled, skewered, smoked,—we could go on and on!

Steaming mussels

This method consists in cooking the mussels in a steamer basket over a few inches of boiling water or broth in a large casserole for 5 to 7 minutes, until the shells open.

To open the mussels, all you need is a small quantity of liquid seasoned with shallots, green onions, garlic or herbs. The liquid can be water, court-bouillon, apple cider, beer or white wine. It could also be water to which you've added aromatic vegetables such as carrots, onions, celery, herbs and spices.

Cooking Mussels: Steaming mussels

Some cooks like to add a spoonful of flour to the broth to whiten the mussels although this practice is strictly cosmetic as it adds no flavour at all. Curry, tomatoes, garlic and saffron complement the taste of mussels particularly well.

  • Calculate about 250 ml (1 cup) of liquid per 1 kilogram (2 pounds) of mussels.
  • Clean mussels and remove beards.
  • In a large casserole, bring liquid to a boil and drop the mussels into the liquid.
  • Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or just until the shells open.
  • Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  • Remove mussels and discard any that have remained closed.
  • Serve with strained, reduced cooking stock to which you have added a little cream to give it a velvety texture.

Grilling mussels en brochette (kebobs)

Grilling mussels en brochette

For best results, always pat mussels dry with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Brushing the skewered mussels with maple syrup adds a great deal of flavour to the brochettes.

  • Open by hand or quickly steam open the mussels to remove the flesh.
  • Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Roll each mussel in a slice of bacon.
  • Thread 4 to 5 mussels onto a skewer.
  • Cook in the oven at broil or grill on the barbecue for 2 to 3 minutes, turning only once midway through.
  • Brochettes are ready when the bacon is crisp.

Baking mussels en coquille

This method involves steaming the mussels, adding garnish and baking in the oven.

  • Clean mussels and remove beards.
  • Steam in a small amount of liquid.
  • Drain in a colander and let cool.
  • Open to remove the top shell.
  • Release the flesh from the bottom shell.
  • In an oven-safe dish, lay mussels on half shells on a bed of coarse salt.
  • Garnish each mussel with a condiment of your choice (sauce made with reserved cooking liquid, pesto, garlic butter, shredded cheese, etc.) and broil in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes.

Mussels and pasta

Mussels and pasta

Steamed mussels, with or without their shells, are delicious served with pasta. The strained poaching liquid can serve as a base for a sauce, to which you can add a variety of ingredients to create wonderful pasta dishes.