With our geoduck and cracked crab cooking demonstrations behind us, host Jon Rowley introduces us to one more delicacy at Taylor Shellfish Farms: Mediterranean mussels.
Jon explains how these glossy blue/black mollusks are cultivated on mussel rafts, from which they are lowered into the water and harvested after about a year. The mussels attach themselves to the ropes by the soft byssus threads, called the beard, at the foot of their shells. Though strong as the silk of a spider’s web, the stringy threads are easily removed just before cooking by pulling upwards along the side of the shell.
But how do they taste? Time to find out! With mussels now at their peak season, when better to share Jon’s recipe for enjoying this Pacific Northwest treat than here on Wanderfood Wednesday?
Skillet Mussels or Mediterranean Mussels 1 – 2 – 3
(courtesy of Jon Rowley)
- 1-1/2 pound medium-sized (11/15 to the pound) Mediterranean mussels
- 2-3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Debeard and rinse Mediterranean mussels. Put mussels into a hot dry skillet. The first mussel to open will drop some juice onto the bottom of the hot pan. The juice will sizzle and scorch and provide the seasoning for the finished dish. The juice from the next mussels to open go to the bottom of the pan and deglaze the bit of scorched, carmelized juice from the first mussel.
Continue to cook mussels and reduce the juice until you see the mussel meats contract. Stir occasionally. Mediterranean mussels need to cook for awhile after the shells open. The shells open before the plump meats are done.
While the mussels are cooking, chop garlic (coarsely( and parsley. Use more or less than called for according to taste. When the mussel meats have contracted and are ready to serve, stir in chopped parsley and coarsely chopped garlic. The amount of juice will vary each time you make the dish. Season with black pepper. Plate when the pan emits a pleasant smoky garlic aroma. Serve over grilled Italian bread on the side. You will want to soak up the juices!
How’s that for an easy, fast and delicious delight? Taylor Shellfish Farms ships orders across the United States. Just click on the link to place an order.
For more yummy recipes, be sure and check out Wanderfood Wednesday.
Do you have a favorite shellfish recipe to share with us here, Wanderboomers?