If you've never made mussels at home, what are you waiting for? They are super cheap and so easy you won't believe it. This recipe from Serious Eats is actually a little more involved than it needs to be. You can use basically any vegetables and liquid you like to steam mussels. Wine, beer, cider, tomato sauce, coconut milk, stock... the possibilities are endless.
The bacon in this recipe makes them a little more hearty. With fresh bread this is a full meal. For a main course, about a pound of mussels per person will do. I bought a kilogram for about $4.50!
So here's what you need:
1 kg (2lbs) fresh mussels
3 slices bacon
1 small or 1/2 large fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs each fresh thyme and tarragon
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp butter
juice of one lemon
First, prepare your mussels by rinsing under cold water in a colander. Shake them up a bit. The mussels should all snap closed. Discard any that aren't closed tightly.
Here are the ones I threw away.
Now chop the bacon.
Add it to a large pot over medium heat.
And fry it up until starting to crisp.
Dice the fennel.
Once the bacon is browning, add the diced fennel to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes until softened.
Chop your garlic, thyme and tarragon and add them to the pot along with the wine.
Then dump in the mussels and cover the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pot a few times.
Once the mussels have opened, add the parsley, butter and lemon juice and mix until butter is melted. Discard any mussels that don't open.
Serve up the mussels in a large bowl and pour the wine broth, fennel and bacon from the pot over top.
These are great with some fresh bread to dip in the broth. A hearty, filling meal that's cheap and easy enough for any weeknight. Delish!