Sometimes it’s not so bad when my boyfriend travels or works late. Because those are the nights I get to eat the things he won’t! Things like mussels, which I usually have to order with my girlfriends at happy hour. And then I have to share them. I mean, sometimes life just isn’t fair.
I think a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of cooking mussels. It seems so fancy, like something you aren’t supposed to make at home. Not true! They couldn’t be easier or faster. And nowadays every grocery store seems to sell them, usually farmed sustainably and even organically. They are a great choice when it comes to seafood, both environmentally and nutritionally. They’re an amazing source of protein, iron, healthy fats, zinc, and folate.
So serve these to your honey on your next date night (did someone say aphrodisiac?), or make them as a delicious appetizer for a crowd — your guests will be wowed for sure. Just don’t forget to have lots and lots of crusty, toasty bread for sopping up those juices.
Mussels Steamed in Beer
- 2 lbs mussels
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- a heaping cup of grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 can/bottle of yummy beer (like a pale ale or an amber)
- crusty bread for serving
- Check mussels and remove any protruding beards (just give ’em a yank). Discard any mussels that are open and don’t close after a couple taps on the countertop. Rinse through a couple batches of cool water, drain and put back in the fridge until ready to use. Pour half the beer into a glass and set aside to let foam subside.
- Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot (I used a Dutch oven) over medium low heat. Add onion and red pepper flakes (if using) and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes and saute another minute. Add beer and bring to a boil.
- Add mussels to the pot and cover. Steam for about 5 minutes, until the mussels have opened, stirring once halfway through. Discard any mussels that don’t open.
- Serve with lots of bread, and be sure to pour yourself the other half of that beer. Enjoy!