During the holiday season things can get pretty hectic – but I refuse to compromise on eating a nice meal because we are all in a hurry. Here is a recipe that is a total reward: quick, delicious and in-season ingredients. You can use it as a first course or as a meal accompanied by a nice tossed salad. This is a dish from my childhood, my parents would make it in the fall and winter. As children we loved it! We were allowed to eat with our hands and have as much bread as we wanted! You will need that bread to soak up all the delicious left over broth in your bowl.
Mussels are pretty much available year-round now but they tend to be plumper in the winter. I recommend buying them the same day you will cook them, store them in the fridge in a bowl uncovered with NO water so they can breathe. The ones you buy at the store are farm-raised so you only need to give them a quick rinse before using them.
- 4 to 5 pounds mussels
- 2 to 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- one large or 2 small tomatoes, peeled, quartered, seeded, and chopped
- one leek, cleaned, cut in half length wise and sliced thin (white and light green part) or one large onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2/3 cup dry white wine or white vermouth
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
In a very large stockpot (large enough so you will be able to move the mussels around as you stir) melt the butter. Add the garlic and leek or onion and sautée until it starts getting soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir until they are soft and release a bit of their juice, another 2 minutes. Add the cleaned mussels and stir until they have all been covered by the vegetables. Add the wine or vermouth and cover the pot allowing the mussels to steam. After 10 minutes check the pot and give the mussels a stir checking at the same time to make sure they have opened. Put the lid back on, turn off the heat and let sit another 3 minutes. Before serving toss with the parsley.
Transfer the mussels in a large bowl or individual bowls, discarding any unopened mussels. Serve with chunks of crusty bread.
NOTE: I am partial to the mussels from Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Should you decide to make the recipe you can also go to the following site and view my video tutorial on how to make the dish.
from my kitchen to yours,
CK, la fille du boucher