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Old 10-23-2006, 04:57 PM   #1
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Question Frozen Mussels?

My brother gave me a pound bag of frozen mussels in a butter/garlic sauce. The instructions are to place the contents in a covered pan and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer about 3-5 minutes longer. According to my brother the mussel shells will open. I know not to eat the ones that don't open and I'm a little puzzled as to why, since they aren't alive, they will still open.

But really, my question is this: what should I serve them with? I'm thinking linguini. Not sure what, if any, additional seasonings they might require. I've only ever had mussels in soup and a mixed seafood dish we had when John and I were on the road.

Any insight?

Fraidy

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Old 10-23-2006, 05:14 PM   #2
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We used to go to a restaurant call "Shells" when we visited Kim's folks in Bradington, Florida. They made a seafood pasta that was the best I ever tasted, and it had mussels in it, as well as shrimp, crab, clams, scallops and other things (wish I could remember). It was mixed in with linquine and a creamy sauce that I guess was Alfredo, but it wasn't so over-whelmingly rich and not real heavy on the garlic. It may have had a bit of lemon, but not enough to make it taste lemony. Seems like it might have had some bits of red and green peppers in it too, not sure.
I hope that gives you something to play with. It was truly delicious. I could eat my weight in it.
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Old 10-23-2006, 05:17 PM   #3
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The linguini sounds good. There still could be some that don't open - so you already know not to eat those.

You could do "Italian" and make a lemon risotto to serve with them - I've been in a risotto mood lately and haven't made it yet so I'm trying to live vicariously through someone else right now! But an asparagus, lemon, (of course Parmesan and white wine) risotto sounds pretty good to me!
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:17 PM   #4
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I always use fresh mussels for better taste and the fact that I can use the stock for my spaghetti sauce. So far I have not used frozen ones but I do know that for fresh mussels, if after sufficient cooking, some mussels still do not open up, it means that they are dead and have to be thrown away.

I do not know exactly what the butter/garlic sauce contains. But since it is a sauce and not a mixture, most probably it has cream in it. One way to find out is to taste it when thawed. In case it has a mild taste, you might want to add ingredients like chopped onion, fresh/dried basil, light cream/milk, white wine and grated Parmesan cheese to give it more flavour before adding your cooked mussels to it. Lingini or spaghetti is fine to go along with this sauce.
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:52 PM   #5
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I would venture to say that the sauce is just that - butter and garlic and NO cream. The addition of basil and Parmesan cheese would be wonderful! You could add the basil towards the end of cooking and of course the cheese to finish.
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:40 PM   #6
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I think these are already cooked. YOu don't need to worry about them opening or not.
The sauce is on them. Eat with some nice French baguette. You could absolutely pour some cream over them for added goodness.
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Old 10-24-2006, 06:36 AM   #7
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I've never tried these, but I guess it would be ok.


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Old 10-24-2006, 07:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
According to my brother the mussel shells will open. I know not to eat the ones that don't open and I'm a little puzzled as to why, since they aren't alive, they will still open.
Even if they were alive when you bought them, they'd be dead when you cooked them. And yes, the shells will still open. Basically, it's nothing more than the muscle controlling the shell relaxing. So then, you ask, why don't the OTHERS open? They were already dead before they were frozen.

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Old 10-24-2006, 10:05 AM   #9
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Yeah, I forgot about that! Sorry about that.

Stuff like this should not be bought frozen, but should be bought fresh and alive. That way, you'll know that you are getting the mussels in their freshest state.

NEVER buy dead mussels, crabs lobster or oysters! Because you have to know that they are all alive, and you can ween out the dead ones and throw them away. You don't know how long they were dead.

About the only shellfish that I'd by dead are shrimp.


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Old 10-24-2006, 01:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
I would venture to say that the sauce is just that - butter and garlic and NO cream. The addition of basil and Parmesan cheese would be wonderful! You could add the basil towards the end of cooking and of course the cheese to finish.
I'm pretty sure there is no cream. The cryovac'd packages show just butter. I suppose I could ask Scott what he does with them but he was in a bit of a pissy mood yesterday so I thought it would be best if I didn't bug him
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