Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mussels in an Herb Tomato Sauce

It has been really nice living right next door to a grocery store!  A lot of days on my way home from work, I stop in and see what they have in the seafood section. On this day, they had mussels for 4 dollars per pound.  I picked up a pound, not realizing that I didn't have any stock, wine or beer at home. All three are ideal for steaming mussels. So I dug through the pantry and fridge to see what I could come up with. Here is it!  Keep in mind most of my recipes are for 1 or 2 people!

1 lb. Mussels
Extra virgin Olive oil
1/2 Onion, small dice
3 cloves Garlic, minced
10 oz. can of Tomato sauce (I used Hunt's as always)
Crushed red pepper flakes
Basil, chiffonade
Thyme, stripped off the stem
Parsley, rough chop
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tbsp Butter
Scallions, thinly sliced 

Start by checking all the mussels. Look for ones that are open. If they are, tap them and see if they close. It might take a minute or two. If they don't close, that means they're dead, so throw them out!  If the shell is closed then they are still alive. Also throw out any mussels that have chipped or broken shells. 

Soak the mussels in a big bowl of water with a little flour. They'll drink it and spit it out, along with any sand that might be in them. Let them sit for 20-30 minutes. 

Heat a medium pot over medium heat. 

Add in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and when it's hot, add the diced onion. Season generously with salt. 

Once the onion has sweated a bit and has become translucent, add the garlic and cook for a minute more. 

Lower the heat to medium low and add the tomato sauce and a pinch of crushed red. 

Turn the heat to low and let the sauce bubble for a bit and start to reduce. 

While the sauce is simmering, clean the mussels. Drain them in a colander and rinse with water. Tear off all of their "beards". It's a little fuzzy part on the side  of the shell and just tears right off. 

Once the sauce has reduced a bit, add in all of the fresh and dried herbs. 

Let cook a bit more, then stir in 1 tablespoon of butter. 

Drop in the mussels, stir to coat in the sauce, cover and let stand about 6-7 minutes until all of the mussels open. If some of the mussels don't open, throw them out. This means they have been dead a while and are no good to eat!

When all the shells are open, spoon some mussels and sauce into a big bowl. Garnish with scallions and more fresh herbs if you prefer.  Make sure you sop up all the sauce with some good bread!  Enjoy!

Malon and Faron being extra lazy today

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