ISO (in search of) pasta recipe for mussels

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taxlady

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Mussels are on special at the place where I get my produce basket:


I have two concerns about buying this. DH hasn't had this and he is afraid it will squig him out. I'm looking for a recipe for mussels with pasta, but not one that leaves the mussels in the shell. I have never cooked any shellfish other than lobster. From what I have read online, it seems easy enough. If it were just for me, I would serve them in the shell. He is very hesitant about shellfish, because many of them make him nauseous. He, however, would prefer that they were chopped up so he can't recognize them. So, any suggestions for a recipe with mussels and pasta, but no tomato?

Second question - I assume that I can steam the rest of the mussels and freeze them in the broth. Does that seem reasonable? Five pounds of mussels is a lot in just one go for just two people.
 
You'll be surprised how much you need. The majority of the weight is in the shells.
Will you cook them whole, then remove the "meat" and use it in the sauce? It's the safest way (I think) as you should discard mussels that don't open.

I figure a creamy sauce would go well with them, with something lemon.
Or a white wine sauce
 
To freeze, go ahead and steam them, separate from both the shell and broth and then freeze meat and broth separately.
When you need to reheat them, heat broth, sauce, whatever you are going to have them in, and then add the mussels to reheat. Otherwise you run the danger of rehaeting and overcooking them.
I do this all the time as I cannot possibly eat an entire bag of mussels by myself (well I have but seriously should not have :pig::pig::pig:)

For DH, follow and make any dish you wish, just cook/steam mussels separately. Remove them from shells, chop and add to your dish.

Make a pasta, make a Provincial Sauce (thyme, butter, etc. with the mussels, they add flavour and are in turn flavoured by) Just remove them from the shells, chop and add back in. And no, DH does not get to help you with this as visual is half the battle.

How about my Pernod and Cream mussels (one of my favourites)? Or have a couple with chopped bacon which would help blend in the mussels bits themselves.
 
Dragn, not the one with Pernod. I don't have any Pernod because, we don't like it. But, I would love any of the other recipes. Bacon is always good and if it helps disguise the mussel pieces, even better.
 
Actually if you really think DH would balk at the thought of mussels, just don't feed them to him. Steam them in a good broth, separate, freeze and just add them to your food - not his. You can use the broth in anything you like. If he can't really tell the difference then perhaps mince them for a dish here and there.

I have no idea of the health benefits of mussels but they are darn tasty as far as I'm concerned. Even if not on 'special' they are a super cheap meal in this day and age of expensive proteins.

If done right, and timing is important, they will still be tender and juicy.

Tip from Lidia -
Do them in a frying pan. Deep pots, depicted in most recipes, means you have to pick up the pot and shake to redistribute and hopefully cook evenly. In the wide pan they will almost ALL open at the same time. 3 maybe 5 minutes usually does the trick. Just remember, if open - they are cooked.

Also should there be some that do NOT open, put them back in for a few more minutes... 98% of them WILL open. But since I've used the shallow pan to cook them - I rarely, if ever, have none that open.

all I can think of at the moment.... I'll go thru my recipes later, yeah remember - no tomato (but it's a popular ingredient!)
 
DH isn't averse to the idea of mussels. I just have to take it baby steps. I don't really have the spoons to be making separate meals for each of our tastes.
 
Taxy, I suggest steaming them, removing the shell and "beards" which looks like a little fuzzy bit that sticks out of the openings (just pull it off.) I love mussels and a garlicky wine sauce may be just the thing! You can chop the mussels if you want like people do with clams.
 
Mussels - Moules Mariniere, Moules Poulettes Jacques Pépin Makes Moules Two Ways
Have not done the cream one but certainly sounds like it would go well over pasta. First one is classic of course, but the second one you could also fry up some diced pancetta to add to it.

Thai Coconut Mussels
Seems like a long list of ingredients and I have done it - but no cilantro, just used parsley. I think I served it over rice. Mint is a nice touch with the Sambal Olek. (or Harrisa)

Thai Steamed Mussels in Basil Coconut Sauce
Again I would serve over rice.

Also have a recipe for Breaded, Gratin, Sweet Potato (curry- good!), a whole bunch more.

I sort'a like mussels.... :mrgreen:
 
You clean the beards before you steam them.

We generally purge in cold, heavily salted like the sea tap water with some ice in it so it's very cool to the touch for 20-30 minutes and then pull the beards. They might not all have beards.

When we steam clams, not mussels because we don't buy them for more than 1 meal, but get huge bags of clams, we freeze them in the broth because they will dry out and get freezer burn if you don't. BUT, defrost the bag in a bowl, in case the bag leaks, and remove the clams/mussels before the broth is heated, then add the clams/mussels just long enough to heat through.

I love a dish that Carabba's makes and have a copycat recipe for it. It's a lemon butter sauce that does have a bit of anisette or Pernod in it. You don't notice it though, because I don't like it either, but it does add something because the dish doesn't taste right if I leave it out. Anisette comes in the little airplane bottles so that's why I use it.

I'll post the recipe if you want.
 
If it doesn't have to use pasta, you could use Legal Seafood's clam chowder recipe and replace the clams and clam juice with mussels and the steaming broth. For that matter, you could use tiny shell pasta or orzo or ditalini or orecchiette in place of the potatoes.
 
You're supposed to.... :whistling
Yes, but you wrote
Taxy, I suggest steaming them, removing the shell and "beards" which looks like a little fuzzy bit that sticks out of the openings (just pull it off.) I love mussels and a garlicky wine sauce may be just the thing! You can chop the mussels if you want like people do with clams.
Which kind of implies removing beards after you steam them; thus, my statement.
 
medtran - I'd love to see the recipe please. Thanks!
Done.

 
medtran, I understood Kathleen to be saying that she forgot and had to do it after.
Think of the beards as instant floss, Kathleen!

and thanks for the recipe medtran, have copied and made note of your note re the lemon. It certainly looks yummy! Will be first on my list when next I do mussels.
 
Thanks ladies. Sounds good. I will explore those recipes later. Right now I'm waiting on a grocery delivery. Medtran, yes, I like the idea of a chowder recipe for mussels. I have a Danish one, but 5 lbs of mussels for two people is a lot and I probably want to do the chowder later, by at least a week. DH has had a clam pasta dish that he liked, so I was thinking that a mussels pasta dish would be the best way to have him "dip his toes into the water". OTOH, he does like clam chowder, so I might start with a chowder. It will in part depend on our arthritis levels. We have been eating too much potato and tomato and we both had arthritis flairs.
 
Just for the heck of it... And because I wanted to know
I googled
1 kg of mussels gives about 200 gr of mussel meat. Same site says 1 kg pp if you only eat mussels, but 1/2 kg if you serve it with anything.
So yes, you will have left overs
(European portion size, not sure if it is true but I always think American portions are bigger)
 
Often when we (I) make mussels, it is served only with a salad and either bread or sometimes fries. I buy a 1 kg bag for 2 people, which is perfect as we can manage to polish it off just fine.
It could possibly serve 3 people but then you would see us checking out each others shells to make sure none were missed.
 
Tip from Lidia -
Do them in a frying pan. Deep pots, depicted in most recipes, means you have to pick up the pot and shake to redistribute and hopefully cook evenly. In the wide pan they will almost ALL open at the same time. 3 maybe 5 minutes usually does the trick. Just remember, if open - they are cooked.
How much can you usually fit on a frying pan? A pound of mussels? A kilo?
 

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