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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mussels in Craft Beer Cream Sauce (Tastin' the Nation)

Yum, yum, yum: the three words that best describe mussels.  I have always loved eating mussels, either in red or white sauce, or just simply dunked into melted butter, but making a batch of mussels and sharing them with your equally mussel appreciating girlfriend, well it doesn't get any better.  So, Citizen Elizabeth and I went to the food store, got the ingredients, and got to work.

Making mussels is pretty easy.  You essentially steam them.  You can use plain water, or wine, or a great craft beer.  I also recently saw an episode of A Taste of History, and based this simple mussels recipe off that one, with some old-fashioned, family-learned cooking skills thrown in.  Here is what you will need:

  • 2-3 pounds of mussels
  • shallots
  • celery
  • garlic
  • mustard
  • beer
  • cream
  • scallions
  • parsley

What You Need to Do: Heat up a dutch oven or other lidded pot nice and hot.  Add some olive oil while it is heating up.  When you start to see some slivers of smoke rising from the oil, it is ready.  Thrown in a tablespoon of butter, three minced shallots, about a 1/4 cup of minced celery and three minced cloves of garlic, and some small slices of scallions.  Add 2 Tablespoons of a mustard of your choice, and about 3/4 of a beer of your choice.  Dump in the mussels and pour about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cream over them.  Let them steam on high for about 5 minutes, stir them up, and then add the remainder of your beer.  Steam for another 5 minutes or so, and you are done.  Serve in a large bowl, and top with scallions and parsley. Enjoy.

We used Piraat beer, a really nice unfiltered Belgian ale.  What is great about this very simple recipe is that you can customize it all you want, pick a mustard of your choice, a beer of your choice, use heavy or light cream, or no cream at all.  Prefer regular onions over shallots?  Go for it.  Here is how it turned out.

Photo supplied by Citizen Elizabeth