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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ummmm....Mussels!


One of my favorite eating and relaxing afternoons in Pittsburgh is a trip to Roland's in the Strip for a few hours enjoying the sunshine and their deck overlooking Penn Avenue. Aside from the lobster sandwich (that's another post) I really like their mussels. Years ago, it was refered to on the menu as "A bucket of mussels" and was served in an old fashioned steel wash basin. This is a great meal for one and is big enough for a couple to share as a snack.

I love mussels but I've always really liked it when they are served with a tasty broth. They are really easy to cook at home and great for entertainment because it only takes a few minutes to prepare them to perfection. Following is my favorite recipe:

1 bag of mussels
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 cups of dry white wine
1 small chopped onion
1/3 cup minced parsley (fresh makes a big difference!)
1 or 2 stalks of diced celery
1 diced sweet red bell pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook a few minutes until the onion is opaque. Add the wine, celery, red pepper, and parsley and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, cover and simmer until the shells have opened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Don't over cook and don't lift the cover!!! They need to steam. Discard any unopened mussels.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to individual bowls. Pour the remaining liquid over the servings and serve with melted butter for dipping.

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