Excessive bivalves!
September 4, 2008 11:33 AM   Subscribe

What can I do with all these steamed mussels?

My husband is out of town, so I decided to treat myself to my favorite food that he hates... mussels! I sauteed onion, celery, and garlic before adding the mussels and a glass of sauvignon blanc - finished it all up with flat-leaf parsley and thyme, a load of black pepper, added some more butter to the liquor, and settled down in front of a DVD with some french bread and the rest of the wine.
My eyes were much bigger than my stomach - I've got about 40 mussels left (they're the small Scottish kind) and a little over a cup of the liquor. Soooo... the question is, what can I make with the mussels tomorrow? Any ideas are welcome! Yes, I know they won't be as perfect as they would have been fresh, but I'm thinking something with a lot of flavor and spice will make up for that. Also...how should I store them in the refrigerator in the meantime? Should I leave them in the shells or not? Mix them with the liquor? Refrigerate the mussels and the liquor separately?
posted by Wroksie to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I should add that I am off work tomorrow, mr. Wroksie will still be out of town, and there's an amazing international grocery (mostly Asian) right nearby, so anything unusual, time consuming, or requiring exotic ingredients is more than welcome.
posted by Wroksie at 11:46 AM on September 4, 2008

Best answer: Mmmm make some pasta. You could just toss the noodles in the mussels and liquor or you could mix things up and add some marinara sauce. If you want to get really fancy, sautee some shrimp too!
posted by radioamy at 11:47 AM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oooh.. chowder is a great idea, I never thought of replacing the clams with mussels. I think I would like it better with mussels, because I usually think clams are a bit tough.

And pasta... I like that idea, too. I might go with just tossing the pasta with the liquor and the mussels, but as I am kind of a decadent pig I would probably add a little heavy cream or creme fraiche...
posted by Wroksie at 11:59 AM on September 4, 2008

Best answer: Use the liquor as part of the cooking liquid for some angel hair pasta. Toss the pasta with the mussels and some good unsalted butter. Some aged Parmesan on top and you're set.
posted by Newstuffoldstuff at 12:15 PM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Sounds like you made Moules Mariniere. yum! Please invite me over. :) Ok, sweet and sour Thai Mussels. Mussels pate. The paella from the leftover mussels list sounds yummy.
posted by nickyskye at 1:06 PM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The single best soup I've ever made was from a bounty of mussels like yours. I shucked the mussels from their shells and refrigerated them overnight in the cooking liquor, tightly wrapped, while I rubbed my hands and contemplated the possibilities.

The next day, I sauted some shallots, deglazed with wine, added the mussels and juice along with a generous slosh of cream ( or possibly half & half, in a quantity roughly equal to the mussel liquor), and heated it gently. Sprinkled with fresh parsley and served with crusty bread, a simple salad, and more wine... mmm, that dinner has stuck in my memory (and in my mother's, who shared it with me) for years. I must make it again.

posted by Elsa at 1:25 PM on September 4, 2008 [5 favorites]

40 mussels: chop them and mix them with cream cheese. You can even freeze it and use it when you have guests, to spread on saltines or melba toast.
posted by uauage at 1:42 PM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: My goodness, I'm already getting hungry again.
For some reason, even though I've seen it on menus before, I thought Moules Mariniere had tomato sauce. Like Marinara! I have a hard time convincing myself to eat mussels at restaurants because I have a food poisoning phobia and I can't be in the kitchen to make sure they don't toss the ones that won't close. I make mussels the way my much older, sophisticated French-Canadian boyfriend made them for me when I was a freshman in college. He just called them moo-sells in watt-uh wan-uh. He hated it when I told him how cute his accent was, and he would never speak French for me. Maybe that's why he never called them moules mariniere :)
I have all the ingredients for the Thai mussels, as I've been on a Thai cuisine kick lately. The recipe calls for fresh, but I could just make a sauce with all the non-mussel ingredients plus the liquor and throw in the cooked mussels in their shells at the very last second just to heat through, and then sprinkle it with basil and coriander from the garden.
Or I could make Elsa's soup, in the bathtub, and bathe in it. With some crusty bread and wine.
posted by Wroksie at 1:46 PM on September 4, 2008

Response by poster: I might use half of them in a dish for one, as I'm the only one in this house who eats them, and mix the rest with cream cheese a la uauage and put them in the freezer. Because like everything else here, that sounds amazing.
Sorry I'm being promiscuous with the best answers, but every answer really is awesome. Thanks people!
posted by Wroksie at 1:50 PM on September 4, 2008

Best answer: Oh oh oh! I forgot to mention the little trick that made the soup sooooo gooooood: I pureed a few of the mussels with the cream and the deglazed shallots, to distribute the flavor throughout the soup, before adding all the remaining mussels and their broth.

posted by Elsa at 2:11 PM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Fry them. I love fried mussels, and start making them by doing just what you have - steaming them open in an aromatic court boullion and white wine. So now all you have to do is make sure they're dry, and season some bread crumbs - I use just salt, pepper and lots of finely chopped hot chili - then do the flour, egg and crumb thing, and fry them (deep or shallow fry, whichever you prefer). I serve these with a lime mayonnaise, some lemon for squeezing.

I bet fried mussels would even be great tossed through a salad.
posted by lottie at 6:06 PM on September 4, 2008

Best answer: Mussel pud thai?
posted by dunkadunc at 6:16 PM on September 4, 2008

On the pasta front, I usually make this with clams, but mussels will work as well.

Gnocchi con pachino, rughetta, zucchine e vongolecozze

Heat a few halved cloves of garlic and a scant pinch of pepperoncino in some olive oil. When it gets fragrant toss in some thinly sliced zucchini over medium-low heat. About 5 minutes later toss in some cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters. After another 5 minutes toss in the mussel liquor you have.

Let it simmer together until you have a nice sauce (I prefer this one a bit on the thinner side). Salt & pepper to taste. The last 5 minutes toss in your mussels & some roughly chopped rocket (arugula); you want the rocket to wilt but not overcook. Toss your simultaneously cooked gnocchi with the sauce. Devour.
posted by romakimmy at 4:09 AM on September 5, 2008

i am so hungry right now. dangit.
posted by Soulbee at 6:05 AM on September 5, 2008

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