Location: BUIDB: "Thats a great shot of a pier from the beach."
|Now that I have had a couple of seasons of gathering mussels, talking with other mussel pickers, surfing the 'net and perusing cookbooks, here is a synthesis of what works for me:
I neither purge nor steam/boil the mussels.
With the back of a paring knife, I scrape off whatever I can from the shells in one back and forth pass over the shells--no more incessant scrubbing.
I set the oven at 400 degrees, sort the mussels according to size and arrange on cookie trays. I pop the trays in the oven and remove as soon as the mussels open. (This way the mussel meats aren't swimming in sand and debris filled water--no more rinsing.) Cooking will be finished in the recipe.
I set up a funnel large enough to accommodate a fine sieve, which I also line with large size coffee filters, over a large container.
When they are cool enough to handle, I remove from shells and strain the mussel liquid from the shell into the funnel, as well as the liquid from the cookie tray.
I trim off the beard with a pair of scissors. I examine the mussels again; if it looks like the stomachs are full of sand (the stomachs will be plump and black), I trim off the stomachs and scrape out any sand I miss with a paper towel. (No more purging.) I also feel for pearls as I do this. (Most of the time, the pearls are quite visible and very smooth.)
Mussels Steamed in Beer
Oven Roasted Mussels As Above
A 12-ounce Can of Beer (I use cheap beer)
6 Slices Raw Bacon, thicker rather than thin, diced
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheese (I use Matos cheese, http://cheesetrail.org/visit-a-cheesemaker/#CM13)
Green Onions, sliced
Thick Slices of a sturdy bread, such as Acme sourdough
9 X 12 Oblong Glass Casserole
Preheat oven to 350.
Place your mussels in the casserole, pour in the can of beer, scatter the bacon, cheese, green onions and snip the parsley.
Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is all melted and it looks pretty.
Put two slices of bread, toasted or not, in the bottom of soup plates. Ladle the mussels and broth over the bread and serve.
I have more mussel recipes--will post later.
My Absolutely Adorable @$$!