Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mussel Milk

So last night I had the distinct pleasure (!) of accompanying my good friend Nora to Kleinfeld's to help her select a non-wedding wedding gown. Our good friend Wess also came along to offer some actual bridal experience. What? Was that a groan? Let me tell you why I was so excited. Some of you may know of my TV obsession, and as such, I have seen my fair share of reality shows, some of which happen to be wedding related. Well, on reality TV there is high drama, people! Brides are crying, mothers are screaming, bridesmaids are fighting...but I saw none of that! Not a single tear or snarky remark. It was sooo disappointing! (From other shoppers, not my cool friends. Obvs!) Is reality TV not actually real? Hmmm.

I guess our first mistake (in fulfilling my fantasy) was arriving late on a Monday night. Our gown consultant let it slip that Saturday afternoons are primetime for (any) high drama. Alas, I had to be contented with my levelheaded friends and their unique sense of humor. Fabulously, Nora scored a sample dress at an amazing price, so we went to celebrate with some mussels at Markt. (For some reason I had mussels on the brain and Markt was a fortunate block away.) We got a table right away with and extra seat for the dress. The host was very accommodating.

Since I still can't seem to get mussels off my mind, I decided to make my own tonight. It is so easy. It's just a matter of coming up with your favorite concoction. Curry? Garlic cream? Hoegaarden? I generally prefer the classic white wine version, so went with that. It's also an excellent base to start with and can be tweaked a hundred different ways. The only problem is that I don't own a Fry Daddy. Remember those? Mussels without fries is a shame. But just make sure that you at least have some good crusty bread on hand to use to sop up the broth, and you might not miss them. Repeat: Might not. Oh, and buy a good dry white wine so that you have wine to cook with and wine to drink. (I suggest a Sauvignon Blanc. I didn't even notice that the wine I bought was called "Frenzy" until I brought it home because I was just looking for the grape variety and the price. But it turned out to be apropos since I was racing against the sunset.)

White Wine Steamed Mussels

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced (or 2 medium shallots)
1 cup dry white wine
2 pounds mussels, washed and scrubbed, beards removed (discard any open or broken shells)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rustic crusty bread

1. Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil, garlic, and onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Add the mussels, cover, and cook for 6 - 8 minutes, until the mussels have opened. (Discard any unopened mussels.)

2. Remove the mussels to a serving bowl, leaving the broth in the pot. Add the butter to the broth and stir over low heat to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the broth over the mussels, allowing any sediment to remain in the bottom of the pot. Serve with crusty bread if desired. Serves two.


Lisa said...

You know I am going to make this. I love mussels and "frites".

Tina said...

Awesome! Do it!

Liseyj said...

Looks amazing!! But where are the fries?!

stef m said...

And now I need to get me some (or make me some). Looks great!