Work sort of kills your desire to cook which is sort of sad and ironic since my company specializes in FOOD & beverage. You come home ravenous and you want everything steaming hot and ready to go and there’s absolutely no desire to sweat it out in the kitchen in this wretched weather. But last night, after preparing menus for a dinner party hosted by the big wigs (us tiny worker ants do not get to stay for actual meals, we do all the prep and salivate over the menu and GO HOME RAVENOUS), I finally got round to trying this recipe I posted about a while ago. So I bought a pack of mussels back (cleaned and scrubbed and de-bearded, what a way to make things easy for me!) to try my hand at Smitten Kitchen’s version of mussels in white wine sauce.

mussels

I have to say, if you don’t have to clean the mussels this recipe is a cinch! It’s ready to go in about 10 minutes with little mess and no hassle, and yet it’s a relatively impressive dish (for some reason, people seem to fear preparing shellfish).

Moules à la Marinière
Fresh Mussels Steamed open in Wine and Flavorings
Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen!

2 cups light, dry white wine*
1/2 cup green onions
8 parsley sprigs
1/2 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons butter
6 quarts scrubbed, soaked mussels
1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley

Bring all but the last two ingredients to boil in the kettle (I used a pot, they turned out fine). Boil for 2 to 3 minutes to evaporate its alcohol and to reduce its volume slightly.

Add the mussels to the kettle. Cover tightly and boil quickly over high heat. Frequently grasp the kettle with both hands, your thumbs clamped to the cover, and toss the mussels in the kettle and an up and down slightly jerky motion so the mussels will change levels and cook evenly (I used a wooden spoon and stirred vigorously). In about 5 minutes (mine only took 3 minutes), the shells will swing open and the mussels are done.

With a big skimmer, dip the mussels into wide soup places. Allow the cooking liquid to settle for a moment so any sand will sink to the bottom. Then ladle the liquid over the mussels, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

*I used champagne as there was 1/3 of a bottle of Dom left over from dinner the night before. It tasted a little stronger so it’s probably better to stick with wine.

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