11.18.2010

Mussels (and Snapper)

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About a year ago, I was still not feeling mussels. I had come around to clams, was slowly making my way to oysters, and even enjoyed dipping my bread into a pot of mussel juices. But, something about the texture of mussels was holding me back. Then we went to Spain and I had the best steamed mussels. They were so good, I even managed to fracture a tooth on them (no, I didn't bite the shell), and it was totally worth it.

Since Spain, the husband and our friends, who always tried to convince me to join in on a pot of mussels (apparently not sincerely though), were no longer pleased to have another person to share with. I kept getting the "Oh, so you like mussels too now? Hmm."

We've of course had some delicious mussels since Spain, like when we tried the six-course pasta tasting at Mozza last year for my birthday, and the husband was not convinced we would have enough food (although by the end, we were really, painfully full) and ordered the steamed mussels appetizer. They came in a tomato broth, with lots of interesting herbs. But, even though I've sampled lots of mussels during the past year, I have not made them at home, until this past week.

The beauty of being unemployed is you have a lot of time to think about dinner. Plenty of time to shop, and try to find a good price. Because the not-so-beautiful part about being unemployed is that you're broke. When I came across nice-looking mussels and fresh red snapper at the King Fish Market in Glendale, for a great deal, I decided "today I will make mussels at home".
The asparagus actually took the longest to cook for my seafood feast, so I prepped it and popped it in the over first. Then, I got the butter going for my mussels.
I went for a simple mix of butter, wine, lots of garlic, lots of parsley, a little thyme and salt and pepper. It was a small pot of mussels, about a pound, so I didn't measure anything. They steamed for about 10 minutes, and came out tasty and succulent.

While the mussels were steaming, I pan-fried the snapper in a bit of butter and olive oil, after seasoning it with salt, pepper, lemon juice and garlic. It cooked up in no time, and was meaty and tender.
We had good bread to dip into the mussel broth, and were happy to discover that only one mussel did not open during the steaming, and had to be thrown out. One bad mussel, is not so bad.

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