If you read my weekly meal plan post on Monday, you might remember that I had plans to attempt mussels for Valentine's dinner.
Though North Carolina is East Coast, we don't live close to the actual coast, so it really shouldn't have come as a big surprise that mussels are hard to find in Durham. Really, tracking them down was probably the most difficult part of making this meal.
I finally got my hands on the elusive mussels by making a drive downtown to Capital Seafood Market. It's a small business, full of fresh seafood - NC shrimp, fillets of salmon, whole ocean fish, like grouper and red snapper. I was in foodie heaven. Though tempted to stock up on really expensive fish, I walked away with only a 2 pound bag of mussels, for just $5!
Making my mussels, mariniere style, was a bit of a learning experience. Though not difficult to make, mussels do require a little bit of prep work. (the recipe is below, promise)
- After bringing live mussels home, take them out of the bag. They're still alive and need to breathe.
- Prior to cooking, throw out any mussels that are cracked or open.
- Soak mussels in cool, fresh water for about 20 minutes prior to cooking. This gives them time to spit out any sand and sediment.
- Scrub soaked mussels with a brush to remove any leftover debris.
- "Debeard" the mussels by pulling the "whiskers" out toward the hinge of the shell.
Now on to the cooking...