Just north of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Cananda, lies Prince Edward Island, this wind swept outcropping with it's cold nutrient rich waters is home to all sorts of great seafood including the Prince Edward Island mussel. This farmed mussel has become a favorite in many
restaurants around the country. I'm sure many of you have eaten this briny treat, but have you ever thought of making this at home? It is incredibly easy to do and you will amaze your friends and family with your new found culinary prowess. First go to your local fishmonger, seafood shop or high quality grocery store. It is so very important that the mussels are treated right since they are and should living until you cook them. Several indicators of a fresh mussel is clean ocean like smell, they should not smell fishy. Next if the mussel is open pinch it closed, if it stays closed then it is still alive and kicking. If it pops back open then it is dead and now a bacteria sponge, discard immediatly. Now that you have found fresh mussels how much do you need, if you are serving them as an appetizer then 10-12 per person is appropriate. If you are serving as main then between 22-25 are the norm. First step in cooking is to make the toast, this is important, as the lowly toast setting at the bottom of the plate or bowl soaks up the incredible sauce you are about to make. Any crusty french bread, foccacia, or ciabbata with do. Cut into 1/2 inch thickness, rub with some olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper and toast in the oven until crusty. for a twist in flavor grill the bread over charcoal or in a grill pan and reserve for later use. Steaming is the preferred method for cooking these little guys, but we need to do some prep work to insure sucess...we call this mis en place or things in place. First clean your mussels by pulling the beards out and gently scrubbing under cool water with scratch pad...be gentle they are alive, place into a container and cover with a moist towel. Never put mussels, clams, oysters into an air tight contatiner you will kill them and thus kill the freshness. Next small dice some tomatoes, shallots or red onion, mince fresh garlic, mince fresh herbs and find some extra virgin olive oil, knob of whole butter, and white wine. You will also need a small pot or large saute pan with a lid and a long wooden spoon. The reason we gather mis en place and have everything ready is that this process goes really fast. Place your toasted croutons in the bottom of the bowl or on the serving platter. Ready here we go, over medium high heat add a little olive oil and let get hot, next add onion, garlic, tomatoes and mussels, toss to coat the mussels, add white wine , minced herbs, salt and pepper and cover with a lid. Saute for two minutes or so, remove lid and stir with your spoon at this point mussels will be starting to open. When they are open they are done, remove mussels from pan to a bowl or serving plate on top of the croutons, leave the cooking liquid going and and add your kob of whole real butter this will bring the sauce together.
This will only take a minute when sauce has come together drizzle over cooked mussels and croutons, strap on a bibb and enjoy...what a great quick share dish....until next time