So my wife wanted to make the Sunday evening meal this time around and I thought I’d help out by making an easy appetizer to go with the meal. After thinking about it a little bit, I decided to make steamed mussels from The New Legal Sea Foods Cookbook (p. 80). Basically it was putting about a cup of finely minced onions and a cup of white wine (I used the rest of the Angeline Chardonnay) into a pot and then loading in about 2 1/2 lbs of mussels (scrubbed and debearded). At that point, it was just necessary to bring the whole thing up to a boil. When the onions/wine were at a boil, all you had to do was cover and lower the heat and let it ‘steam’ for about 5 -8 minutes. I went over to Legal Sea Foods market, Chestnut Hill to get the mussels and they said they usually sold the mussels in 1 1/2 lb bags. I figured since
this was an appetizer for two, that was probably more than enough. The nice thing was that the market counter staff told me that all I needed to do was to give the mussels a good rinse and then get them cooking. Because I was only cooking 1 1/2 lbs instead of 2 1/2, I estimated that it was probably enough to steam them for about 6 minutes.
So I got the onions and the last cup of chardonnay into the pot, brought it to a boil and then loaded
in the mussels. The whole thing came back to a boil and I covered the pot, lowered the heat to 50% max power and let it steam for about 6 minutes. When the cooking finished, I transferred the
mussels korean stone bowls (ok/gop dol). I strained out the onions and distributed the reserved cooking juices into the stone bowls and served. My wife was surprised how simple the dish was to make. A tasty way indeed to start the Sunday evening dinner.
One comment about mussels. In his book, Bouchon (p. 166), Chef Thomas Keller indicates that the best mussels to use are the smaller ones – “The smaller the mussels, the sweeter they are.” (see http://books.google.com/books?id=5Jy7qL6WXcoC&lpg=PA164&pg=PA166#v=onepage&q&f=false )