Fabulous Mussels Almost Like Julia’s

This Bouillabaisse a noble dish is – A sort of soup or broth, or brew, Or hotchpotch of all sorts of fishes, That Greenwich never could outdo; Green herbs, red peppers, mussels, saffron, Soles, onions, garlic, roach, and dace; All these you eat at Terre’s tavern, In that one dish of Bouillabaisse. – Author: William Makepeace Thackeray

We continue to cook over at the cooking club again adapting our favorite guest chef’s recipes, no problem, and always a bit of a surprise taste in the end after using ingredients that we have on hand (adapting all over the place) Julia allows for that with her allium selections in the recipe, link below.  My amounts are pretty random since  I know exactly what I want to add in flavor so as not to overwhelm the sweet tasty mussels.  A little of this and a bit of that so don’t be tempted to randomly grab every spice in the cabinet…best way to ruin a dish so learn complimenting herbs and spices that compliment your main ingredient

One day last week I prepared a great knock off version of Julia’s I bought 5 pounds of mussels and shared some with good friends to enjoy at their dinner tables, each one of us making our own recipe, but hopefully, we will soon share the entire 5 pounds together.  For me, a quick and easy brothy version with a side of crusty French bread and a nice Pinot Noir or Rosé…

2 1/2-3 pounds Mussels
pinches of  saffron
small shallot and 1-3 inch piece of cleaned leek
Zing Zang’s Bloody Mary Mix
white wine
bay leaf
*a bit of butter is optional

Julia’s Instructions (serves 3) LOL:  Take a large mixing bowl and put flour and four cups of water. Whisk them together, and add the mussels to the mixture. Add some more water if needed for covering the mussels. Leave the mussels in soaking water for about an hour in order to disgorge any grit or sand. Take a pan and add minced onion, wine, pepper, parsley sprigs, butter, and thyme. Let the mixture simmer over high heat.

Drain the mussels and rinse them once more. Add the mussels to the mixture and top the pan with lid. Don’t forget to shake the mixture occasionally in order to let the mussels cook evenly. Let the mussels cook like this for about five minutes. When the shells are opened, it is an indication that mussels are cooked.

Serve the steamed mussels in a shallow pasta/soup bowl. Garnish it with minced parsley. It would be great if you could serve them with some toasted baguette. 

Julia’s Important Note:

Discard any mussel with cracked shells when raw, since it indicated that it is dead. Similarly, if a mussel doesn’t open after cooking, it needs to be discarded too.