Mussels cooking lesson.

Monday night I went over to Dan and Hallie's for dinner after work.  Hallie is the wizard on fabrics and interiors that I consulted about the cushions from the beginning.  To be sure we did talk about that issue over the course of the evening but that's another subject...

The tasty topic for this posting is all about food!  Mussels to be exact.  Oh yum.  The last time we visited, Brad went off with Dan to the local seafood place to get some fresh food for dinner, I think it was crab that evening.  Brad also picked up some Scottish salmon and Dan was raving about the mussels and how inexpensive they were - one of the weekly deals is buy a pound get a pound free!  I mentioned that I'd never actually prepared mussels and Hallie said it was easy.  Well, turns out it is, quite in fact.  The hardest part is deciding what broth/sauce to make, there are a lot of options, more on that in sec.

My mussels lesson consisted of the broth already having been chosen, good, I'm sometimes horrible at deciding when I have options - Brad goes nuts when we order food or drink - I take forever unless I know what I want ahead of time and have a craving for something in particular.  That was out of the way and all that remained was to deal with the mussels.  Here's the thing, you don't have to really do anything at all!  Just put them in a pot or large high rimmed pan with the broth, cover and let them steam until they open.  You will have to stir the mussels a few times and get them mixed with the broth.  Here's a video that shows cooking it all together as opposed to how Hallie did it by preparing the broth ahead. 

In the first picture below, mussels go in.  Second picture, steaming with the lid on.  Third picture, stirring a little.  Last picture, mussels have opened and are ready to be served.  Enjoy!

Back to those options on broth.  I was meeting up with a friend in town from Savannah on Capitol Hill not long ago and wanted to go to a place I'd never been.  I texted a sailing friend who lives on the Hill and she recommended Belga Cafe, they have great mussels she said.  OK, that was easy.  Now the hard part, which mussels dish to pick!    I ended up going with the Chimay version.  Delicious and a decent sized portion that did fine for appetizer and dinner all in one.  Our meeting just happened to be on a Tuesday night and it turns out that Belga has Mussels Tuesday and every pot is on special all day!  Perfect.  Which dish would you pick?  Or which dish would you try cooking at home?  I think I'll be trying out the "Truffels en Prei" and hopefully finding the Hennepin somewhere in Naptown for the cream.  I think Brad has a run to Bay Shore Steam Pot in the near future!