Thursday, August 11, 2011

Moules Mariniere

Does cooking seafood frighten you?  Does just looking at it give you the shivers?

I remember going to Tijuana as a kid and watching them crack open clams, adding lime, onions, hot sauce,
cilantro and making a spectacular cocktail.  Or, digging on the beach and coming up with those wildly
iridescent interiors of mussel shells. Shell fish was always an exotic item, and never served at home.

But mussels are easy!  Sustainable, and relatively inexpensive:

In a soup pot saute two tablespoons of butter.  Add and saute a minced shallot.  Splash in a half cup of white wine and let it boil down a bit. Bring to a simmer. Throw in your pound of freshly rinsed mussels (somehow they no longer have beards, those bits of grit you have to pull out of them) cover, and cook--5-7 minutes on low, until all the mussels have opened.

Garnish with parsley.  Serves one mussel hungry person.


  1. I have to admit that I'm not so big on mussels. Something about the texture. Did you see the New Yorker has an article on eating insects? I think you should investigate.

  2. The problem with reading articles like that is that sooner or later shrimp, lobsters and crab all start looking like insects.

    A gourmet challenged me to eat
    A tiny bit of rattlesnake meat.
    Remarking, ‘Don’t look horror-stricken,
    You’ll find it tastes a lot like chicken.’
    It did.
    Now chicken I cannot eat.
    Because it tastes like rattlesnake meat.

    --Ogden Nash

  3. Love the poem, Des. The recipe, too. I think I can handle that.

    No bugs, though. I remember a family friend bringing us chocolate-covered crickets from Paris when we were kids. Nope. Not even French chocolate could make me do it.

  4. P:We visited Oaxaca, where chapulines, (grasshoppers) are all the rage. I did not bite.
    Call me assimilated.

  5. Grasshoppers? Probably. I mean, if one can eat snails, and this one most definitely can...

    My shellfish in order: Oysters, raw (fresh horseradish and lemon); Crab; Lobster (tho it has been so long, I'm not really sure anymore); Mussels. And I can even cook mussels pretty darned well. Have a mussels in beer recipe.

  6. Wild woman! Will you be sharing the recipe?

  7. I had to boil a dead rat once for a high school ROTP class over at Caltec. It smelled just like chicken. Left it in my 73 mustard colored Vega overnight. I also left the window down so the cat stole it. She said it tasted like chicken.