On: February 17, 2016
Ask 10 people what they think about mussels and one will tell you they love them … the other nine will say they have never tried them. The humble mussel is the simple and easiest seafood to cook. Did I also mention that they are inherently healthy and nutritious, sustainably produced, affordable, and downright tasty and delicious?
A mussel is a bivalve, like clams, oysters, and scallops, that grows in salt water and freshwater all around the world. One of the most common mussel species is the blue mussel, native to the Atlantic coast from Virginia to the Artic as well as the West coast of Canada and the U.S. Most of the mussels we eat are farmed in socks hung from long lines and suspended in the water column never touching the bottom. This growing method produces a plumper mussel and prevents sand or grit from getting into it.
To cook mussels, you need only three things: mussels (approximately 1 to 1¼ lbs per person), a small amount of liquid, and a pot with a lid. Mussels are steamed, not boiled. Add the mussels and liquid to the pot, cover it with a lid, and turn the heat up to high. When steam pours out from under the lid, they’re done.
The list of liquids you can use is endless. White wine or a light beer work well, but water, apple juice, citrus juices, or even root beer also will do the trick.
As basketball teams across the nation battle it out, join us at Dorothy Lane Market for Mussel Madness March 18-31, at Jack’s Grill for a bowl of steamed mussels in your favorite sauce ($8.99 a bowl). Work your way through the bracket above and try all the great variations steamed in beer or white wine!