Mussel FAQs for Beginners
What in the world are Mussels?
Mussels are "bivalve mollusks" with an elongated shell. In other words, a sort of clam but with a long shell instead of a round shell.
Where do they come from?
They are found in freshwater lakes and streams as well as saltwater and intertidal areas.
They are pretty ugly, why would you eat a mussel?
Mussles are also considered a healthy food because they are low in fat, high in lean protein, and contain a variety of nutrients. These nutrients include Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, iron, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Besides that, they are pretty tasty.
How would I cook a mussel?
They can be prepared in a wide variety of ways: baked, fried, smoked, broiled, and steamed.
I love mussels, especially steamed in wine sauce. But I have never been brave enough to make my own. I have had friends over the years who have made them as I watched, but I was still intimated and hadn't tried on my own.
When I found Chef John and his Food Wishes site, I knew that I had to try making mussels at home. You see, not only was his Drunken Mussel recipe easy with few ingredients, he included a step-by-step video that was easy enough for me to follow.
My Mussels Now and in the Future
I successfully filled my favorite stock pot with Chef John's steamed mussels in lemon, garlic, and wine sauce - his Drunken Mussels. That first attempt was so easy and tasty that I made the next batch with my own additions:
|Old Bay Seasoning|
- 1 lb. browned sage sausage
- I replaced the red pepper flakes with a generous sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning
- 1 lb. of jumbo shrimp
I was thrilled to find that mussels are extremely easy to make at home. As long as you make sure the shells are scrubbed with a small, stiff brush, remove any "beards" that may be hanging from the shell, and don't wander away from the kitchen while they are steaming, delicious drunken mussels are very easy to make. If you like mussels but haven't made them at home, I hope you give this recipe a try. I think you will find it to be as delicious as I did.