Hi readers, I’ve missed you! What a crazy couple of months I’ve had. We’ve been renovating our house, and we added a little pony to our herd of horses. He’s adorable and has the best hair you’ve ever seen in your life. Living on a farm is truly a blessing. I’m currently typing this post on my deck, watching my beautiful horses graze in the sunlight, and feeling like all is right in the world.
However, it’s been a rather difficult summer so far. One of my horses is sick/injured, and is undergoing an intensive rehabilitation process. I’ve barely had time to cook, let alone eat, so it felt nice being back in the kitchen, doing what I love, and blogging for you.
For my culinary return, I decided to prepare a meal that I’ve never made before- mussels! When I brought the bag home from the grocery store, my husband looked at the mussels and said, “That’s it? Why didn’t you buy more?” I guess he thought that I was shorting him some good seafood… So, he went out to the store and bought more! We had about 6 lbs of mussels, and they were gone in 2.5 days.
I had to do some mussel cooking research prior to my baking adventures. Most people steam them, which takes less than 10 minutes. I started cooking at 7 PM, thinking I would be done at 7:30 PM. Boy, was I wrong! Those suckers need to be cleaned. The cleaning process will be described in the recipe directions, but it took me about 2 hours. Meanwhile, the actually cooking took less than a half hour.
Where’s the face palm emoji when you need it?
We didn’t eat dinner until 9:30 PM, but went to bed with our bellies full and our hearts happy.
Mussels are really interesting creatures. Freshwater mussels actually generate pearls! However, I cooked the wild ones so I didn’t find anything fun when they opened. What I did notice is that the mussels were different colors inside. Apparently, the pale white mussels are usually males, and the orange-fleshed mussels are females. In general, mussels are tasty, full of protein, and have lots of minerals for a complete meal.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get cooking!
Tarragon, Sage and White Wine Mussels
- 6 lbs mussels (I used wild caught)
- 3 Tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
- 3 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
- 1 stick unsalted butter (8 Tbsp)
- Half a bottle of white wine (375 mL)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Clean the mussels: Place the mussels in a colander. Rinse the mussels with cold water. Scrub them with a toothbrush under cold, running water. Remove the little beards on the sides of the mussels by gently pulling them off by hand or using tweezers. Place the mussels in an ice bath once rinsed, with 50% ice and 50% water. Please note- throw away ALL opened mussels.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Add the butter and chopped garlic into a small saucepan. Allow the butter to melt, and the garlic to cook for about 30 seconds after that, turning slightly transparent. Make sure to stir consistently during this step.
- Add the tarragon and sage, followed by the wine. Allow the sauce to come to a slow boil, and cook for 5 minutes thereafter. The longer you cook the wine, the more alcohol you will be able to burn off. The white wine flavor will be retained.
- Place the cleaned mussels into two, 9 x 13 inch pans. Pour the sauce evenly over both pans.
- Bake the mussels in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they’ve opened. Remove from the oven, and enjoy immediately. Please note- discard all mussels that have not opened before serving, as these are not suitable for eating.