Mussel Memory

I had my first experience with mussels in the epicenter of mussels – Belgium. It was a small restaurant in the old town square in Brussels, and a dozen of the succulent bivalves sat steaming in front of me, swimming in a garlicy broth and surrounded by small toasted bread squares. I was hooked.

I can’t remember when the first time was I tried cooking mussels on my own. I do know that I learned over time what a wonderful and easy dish it was to prepare.

The other thing I have learned is that what costs a hefty sum in a restaurant is dirt cheap to make at home. The profit margin on mussels at restaurants must be incredible.

Tonight I made the family mussels steamed in stout with oregano and garlic, plated over spinach capellini.

My wife and 10-year-old son joined in on the feast (it was pizza for the 8-year-old who has not yet developed a taste for mussels, although does make his father proud by eating lox). The not-so-secret secret about mussels is how easily you can make a restaurant-quality dish at home. A large glass-covered pan, some spices and beer, heat, and the mussels and you have it made.

Whole Foods provided the fresh mussels – 9 bucks for 5 dozen. Throw in a couple of dollars for the pasta and about $5 for a couple of glasses of store-bought wine (for me and my wife), and we’re talking a mussel dinner for 3 for under $20. That same meal at even an o.k. restaurant would be at least three times expensive.

So – the next time you want to impress yourself, your spouse, or for the single set, a date,
check out the seafood section and check out with a nice pile of mussels. You’ll create your own mussel memory.

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~ by geoffreysworld on March 12, 2012.

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