I took a lunchtime walk over to the Fulton Street seafood markets …no manila clams so I substituted three pounds of fresh mussels that I bought for just $9.00 (!!). Slightly modifying a clam recipe from Epicurious, I kept the broth proportion intact to have heaps in which to dip the bread. Yum.
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons red pepper flakes or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay (optional)
- 3-6 pounds hard-shelled mussels, scrubbed (buy 3 lbs for two people, 6 for four)
- 1 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1-2 loaves rustic Italian bread, sliced into 1-inch-thick pieces
- 5-6 quart heavy pot (I used our Calphalon 12-Quart Stockpot)
- Stainless steel colander
- Palm brush for scrubbing (I love this thing)
Put your mussels in the colander, scrub and rinse. Over moderate heat, heat oil in your pot until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown, about three minutes. Add salt, pepper, pepper flakes or cayenne and Old Bay, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Increase heat to moderately high and add mussels, white wine, water and thyme (I finally got to use what I’d planted back in the spring). Cover and bring to a boil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels open, about 5 to 7 minutes. Discard mussels that do not open after 8 minutes. Serve with bread.
I’ve never made mussels before and was pretty pleased to have a restaurant-quality dinner ready in about 15 minutes. Dip away.