Recipe: Mussels in a Spicy Creamy Broth

Mussels

By Jacquelyn Prater. For as long as I can remember, I've had a seafood addiction. I am partial to shellfish and I normally eat either crab, shrimp or some other tasty treat once a week. Yes, I spoil myself, but hey -- I'm worth it! Tonight I made mussels in a spicy cream sauce and it was perfect. (Plus they were less than $5 at the store, so I had to get them.)

Spicy, creamy, smoky...yes. Yes to all of that. Plus, I was able to use my other favorite food - bacon. What a treat on such a frigid November night!

One important note about mussels: you need to clean them before cooking them. When you buy mussels from the store, they should be given to you in a plastic bag with ice. Do not tie the bag shut! Mussels are still alive when you purchase them, and tying the bag with suffocate them. Before you cook your mussels, go through them and discard any that are open or cracked. You also need to de-beard them. Along the seam of the mussel you might see a tuft of brown fibers that look like hairs. This is the beard of the mussel, and it must go. Just grab it and tug it out. Boom! Now you are ready to make some mussels!

Ingredients

  • 2lb. of mussels, beards removed
  • 3 slices of bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1/2 a shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Cut 3 slices of bacon in to short strips (lardons) and brown in a sauce pot or dutch oven. Once the bacon has browned, remove it from the pan (don't eat it all - I had a hard time with this).
  2. Add shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot and saute until softened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the white wine and store to scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring this to a simmer, add the mussels, cover and let it reduce for 3 minutes.
  4. Once the mussels have opened, remove them from the pot.
  5. Add the cream and check the seasoning. Add salt and red pepper flakes if needed, then add the parsley.
  6. Add the mussels and bacon back to the pot, stir and serve.

I had some leftover spaghetti in my fridge, so I added it to my creamy broth. You can also serve this with some crusty bread to soak up all that yummy sauce. Enjoy!