I don't care for most shellfish. Especially the ones in the Oyster/Clams/Mussels category. The meat is either too snot-like, or too rubbery for me to appreciate. (Texture is a big factor for me when it comes to food enjoyment.)
*Wanting* to even *think* about preparing mussels was a huge step out of the ordinary! I blame Bobby Flay, once again...
It was the Boy Meets Grill episode that included steamed mussels and grilled bread that spiked my interest. And, you know what...the mussels were not that bad. Tasty, even. They were also so small and so loaded with garlic that it was difficult to taste them at all. Perfect! Plus, Nathan was super happy, because he loves shellfish as much as I hate it.
STEAMED MUSSELS OVER LINGUINI
2-3 lbs of mussels - well cleaned and beard removed (if you can get the "Rope Raised" variety - get them! They are cleaner, more tender and do not have that tough yucky beard.)
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 onion, finely minced
4 tbsp butter
1 cup dry vermouth (or a white wine of your choice)
1 cup of heavy cream
1 lb spaghetti or linguini
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 small package of cherry tomatoes
Prepare pasta as instructed.
In a large skillet, melt butter and add onions and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent. Add all of your well cleaned mussels - checking to make sure that any opened mussels (that will not close when you tap on the shell) are discarded. (They're dead!) Add vermouth, and cover entire skillet. Let cook for approximately 3-5 minutes, or until the shells open to reveal the meat. Gently stir in heavy cream, tomatoes and parsley.
Place cooked pasta in a serving dish, and top with mussels and sauce. Serve! The tomatoes just heat up enough where they explode in your mouth.