2 lbs. mussels (approx. 40 medium sized mussels)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled (for bread)
1 large shallot (or half a medium sized onion), diced
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
olive oil and butter
grated parmigiano reggiano (optional)
1/2 to 2/3 of a loaf of french bread, sliced
To prep the muscles: Keep them refrigerated until ready to use. Throw out any mussels that are open. I run them under cold water while "de-bearding" them. On the inferior aspect of the opening, sometimes there is a little "beard." Grab it and pull upwards and the "beard" should come off without too much resistance. Set them aside in a bowl.
To prepare bread, preheat oven to broil (or however you like to toast bread)
Spread olive oil on to bread slices.
Toast in oven 5-7 minutes (or however it takes in your oven/toaster oven)
You can start working on the mussels at this point. In a large pot, saute garlic and shallots/onions with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
Once shallots are translucent (few minutes), add tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add "de-bearded" mussels.
Add white wine, a good pat of butter (to help thicken up the liquid), and a squeeze of half a lemon.
Place lid over pot and let the mussels steam for about 5 minutes (they'll start to open up).
Pull out bread from oven.
Rub garlic clove over one side.
Once the mussels are done steaming, they'll have opened up. Throw out or don't eat the ones that haven't opened up.
Pour the mussels into a large bowl, squeeze more fresh lemon juice in, add chopped parsley (add grated cheese if you want) and serve with the toasted garlic bread for dipping.
Pairs Well With
This is great dish that you can serve as an appetizer at a party or for a simple dinner. A lot of people get freaked out about trying to prepare mussels, but it's really quite easy. When at the seafood counter, make sure that each mussel is closed all the way. Don't let the seafood guy put any of the opened ones in your bag (those are the ones that aren't fresh). This is just one way to prepare the mussels. You could add different things to the steamed mussels (heavy cream or a curry powder).