Cheap Thrills and Mussels

March 19, 2010

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If there’s something better in this world better than a sauce made from cream, butter and wine, I demand you show it to me. I mean it. Because this sauce is just about the most delicious thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.

I get that the three core ingredients are a little naughty. But the French knew what they were doing when they put them together in this classic preparation of steamed mussels. And if I’ve learned anything at all, it’s that you don’t question the French. Not when it comes to food. Not when it comes to these mussels that you really must try.

I have a lot of guilty pleasures. I tend to speed on Columbia Parkway. I listen to smooth jazz in my car late at night. Sometimes I even wretch over whether or not Brad and Jen will ever just do this thing and get back together. I’m embarrassed. But I’m not apologizing for the mussels.

If I have to do three extra Hail Mary’s or do laps around the house with barbells in my hands, I will. But you can pry this creamy, wine infused mussel recipe out of my cold, dead hands.

The best part about combining butter, cream and wine is that you can’t screw it up. Seriously. Just try to mess it up and you’ll fail. Saute some garlic and shallots in a big pot, add a bunch of mussels and then pour in a big gulp of white wine.

When the mussels open, take the them out of the pot and start adding in a flurry of heart attack inducing ingredients — in this case, butter and cream. When the sauce is thick, add the mussels back in and sprinkle it with parsley. That’s it. It’s a fast, one way ticket to culinary nirvana.

Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

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Classic French Mussels

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds mussels, cleaned (discard any that are opened or cracked)
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tbs butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Procedure:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the mussels and wine and then cover the pot. Cook until mussels open and are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the mussels and add cream, butter, and parsley and stir. When sauce thickens, add the mussels back in and sprinkle with parsley.
  5. I like to serve the mussels in the pot, right on the table and with crusty bread on the side.

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