Alfredo’s Steamed Mussels


Plump fresh mussels in a tomato broth, an old favourite dish from Alfredo’s Restaurant in Morecambe.
This was and still is a favourite way to cook mussels, we first had it like this in 1972 in Cala Millor, Mallorca and then when we moved to Bolton-le-Sands and discovered Alfredo’s restaurant in Morcambe we found they did an almost identical dish and it is one of the most delightful ways to serve one of our favourite shellfish.

Serves / Makes: 4 servings

Prep-Time: 20 minutes

Cook-Time: 30 minutes

You Will Need;

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

6 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped

1 cup dry white wine

1 ½ kilos, mussels, scrubbed and debearded (see notes)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Method;

Warm the oil in a large pan with a tight-fitting lid over low heat Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, increase the heat to high and stir for 1 minute more Pour in the wine and bring to a boil.
Add the mussels, cover and steam, occasionally giving the pan a vigorous shake, until all the mussels have opened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Discard any that do not open.
Transfer the mussels to a serving bowl and Spoon the broth over the mussels and sprinkle with parsley Serve and Enjoy! With fresh crusty bread

Notes:

Mussels are truly one of nature’s most delightful delicacies, they are extremely high in proteins, calcium and iron while being low in fat and calories. They are also excellent for your heart, containing the highest amount of omega3’s of any shellfish (this is the naturally occurring fatty acid that is believed to lower blood pressure).mussels with fries or moules frites are a characteristic belgian dish, you get a big bowl (just about always pot) of steamed mussels, broth, and a side of frites.

Don’t be tricked by how upmarket they look, mussels are the definitive uncomplicated seafood. Clean them, sauté them, steam them and hey up you’ll have a dish everyone will be wowed there are many ways to serve the mussels, but the most classic is moules mariniere the mussels are offered in a sauce of white wine, shallots, parsley, and butter.

You can in addition find mussels served with sauces made with beer, or cream, or vegetable stock. For the greatest authenticity, use a shell to crack open the mussels, not your fork.

Mussels are at their best in cold weather, so their season is usually from october to march. When you see them in a fishmonger’s, a sign of freshness is that most of them are tightly closed: if there are a lot of open mussels don’t bother. When buying mussels you need to allow at least 1 pint (570 ml) per person for a first course, and 1½ to 2 pints (about 1 litre) for a main course. That may seem a lot, but some will have to be discarded and, once they have been shelled, mussels are very small and light.

The ritual of cleaning and preparing them sounds more bother than it actually is. When you get them home, plonk the mussels straightaway into a sinkful of cold water. First of all throw out any that float to the top, then leave the cold tap running over them while you take a small knife and scrape off all the barnacles and pull off the little hairy beards. Discard any mussels that are broken, and any that are open and refuse to close tight when given a sharp tap with a knife. After you’ve cleaned each one, place it straight in another bowl of clean water.

When they’re all in, swirl them around in three or four more changes of cold water to get rid of any lingering bits of grit or sand. Leave the cleaned mussels in cold water until you’re ready to cook them. As an extra safety precaution, always check mussels again after cooking this time discarding any whose shells haven’t opened.

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