Drunken Penn Cove Mussels
When buying mussels, look for shells that are unbroken and unopened. Just like any fish, they should smell of the sea. Once home, the test of liveliness is to rap any shells that are slightly open. If they close on their own, then they are fine and were just taking in some fresh air. If they do not close, they should be thrown away. Mussels that do not open after steaming are more likely stubborn than dead and should be cooked a bit longer.
- 2 pounds mussels
- 1 medium leek
- 2 tablespoons of minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine, or 1 bottle of Alaskan Amber Ale
- freshly ground black pepper
- sea salt to taste
- lemon wedge and a chopped green onions for garnish
1. Add mussels to a large bowl and fill with cold water; let soak for 20 minutes. Scrub each mussel and remove the beard by pulling toward the hinge using a towel between your thumb and forefinger for leverage. Let mussels drain in a colander.
2. Slice leek lengthwise and wash to remove grit. Cut off the dark green ends and discard. Slice leek into thin ribbons.
3. Warm oil and melt butter in a large sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid over low heat. Add garlic, shallots and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add leek and cook until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add wine or beer, season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
4. Raise heat to high. Once wine begins to simmer, add mussels and cover. Cook until all the mussels have opened, no more than 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 Servings