These Lemon Cream Steamed Mussels will not disappoint as a starter to any meal. Or being the star of the show for that matter. For all you seafood lovers out there, make them and you won't be disappointed.
There are days when I can't think of one single thing to cook and days when there isn't enough time to make all that I can think of. Why can't there be a happy balance.
Thankfully, yesterday I was inspired to get cooking and make a few new things for the blog. It's so easy to fall into the rut of "Everybody eats this, so let's just play it safe.". That sums up my life on most days. But then I have days like today, when I make what I like regardless if I'll be the only one eating the final plate. And if they don't like it, they know how to make sandwiches.
I have been feeling seafood inspired lately. And we really don't eat much seafood at all. Once upon a time, we used to eat much more of it. But we've fallen into that rut of sticking to lots of other dishes that pleases everyone. Oh, the things I could make if I only had myself to cook for...ummmm.
Anyway, we're recently back from a trip to Portugal where the country met the sea and it was a beautiful oasis of incredible freshness. I was in absolute heaven and loved every minute of our time there. It was the most relaxed I've been in a very long time. I'm putting that down to the beautiful setting. Just breathtaking. And for the record, we were camping. Tent camping just to clear it up for many of you that probably think trailer or camper van camping. Nope, just a good ol' tent.
We have been tent campers for the best part of two decades. Apart from a minor flirtation with a 1989 VW camper van. Oh, the good ol' break down days. Fun times.
Thankfully, our weather suits tent camping. As it's pretty much always sunny and warm this time of year. And the west coast of Portugal in early September is pretty much the same. No frost or flooding to be heard of.
And the campsite itself was terraced down a valley lined with imposing eucalyptus trees looking out to sea. And unlike most campsites around these parts, it felt like you were in nature. I know many of you are probably thinking isn't that the whole idea behind camping? Well, yes, you would think so. But many of the campsites in these parts tend to lean on the suburban side of Desperate Housewives. If you can picture what I mean. I'm talking paved roads, manicured green spaces, coffee chops, mini markets, swimming pools, electricity, games rooms and all that you would like to have from home. Camping away from home if you like.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to go all Bear Grills and hunt for survival. I'm all about hot showers, hot food and a cosy air mattress. But do we really need satellite TV?
Anyway, we returned this time to a campsite that we've camped at in the past and remembered being more country charm than city slick. It was as beautiful as we remembered. The area as wild and forgotten just as it was seven years ago.
A slower pace of life. Just slow. Where most places didn't accept credit or debit cards. Cash only folks. Where one day would roll into the next and everything stood still. I loved it.
As for the seafood, it was abundant and fresh. Ask the local cats. Which brings me to my seafood kick.
After returning from Portugal earlier this week, I was craving seafood. To the point where we had some kind of fish or seafood dish every other day this past week.. I feel a bit fished out now to be honest, but I'm sure that won't last long.
Oh the Portuguese memories.
Now, let's take a look at this little bit of seafood.
Notes about the mussels:
If you're new to seafood and find it daunting and difficult, it really isn't at all. In fact, most seafood and fish is pretty easy to cook. And what's great about it is that it generally cooks quite quick. Mussels cook in no time at all and can be served as an appetizer or main course.
This was 2lb of mussels and will serve 4 people. Depending on how much you like to eat of course. Goes great with some baguette or any kind of rustic bread.
Below in the recipe you will see full instructions on how to clean and prepare your mussels. It's easy. Just make sure you throw away any mussels that have broken shells before you get cooking.
Also, once they are cooked, discard any mussels that didn't open. There will always be a few.
This recipe makes quite a lot of sauce, so if you feel you don't want much sauce, just literally half the ingredients below. Personally, we loved the sauce and the more the better.
The sauce has a bit of a kick because I added some chilies. If you're not a fan of heat, leave the chilies out.
Everything else you need to know is in the recipe below.
Happy cooking friends and slow down from time to time. It's pretty nice.
Lemon Cream Steamed Mussels
Serves 4 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 25 minutes
2lb/1 kg mussels, whole
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Medium onion, finely diced
6 Garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Dried chilies, finely chopped
1 Cup/240 ml white wine
1 Cup/240 ml cooking cream
Fresh chopped parsley
Juice and zest of one lemon
Clean the mussels by filling up your sink with cold water and dumping them all in. Pick up each one and give it a gentle scrub. If you notice any mussels that are cracked, discard them.
Now you have to debeard the mussels. Most mussels will contain a string like seaweed that is in the crack of the mussel. All you have to do is pull it off. Do so by pulling towards the bottom of the shell and it will come off quickly. Repeat this for all the mussels. You many notice that they don't all have beards and that is fine. Once you have done this for all the mussels give the another rinse in cold water keep them in a cold water bath until you are ready to cook them.
In a large heavy bottomed pot set over high heat, add the butter stir until it melts. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion, sliced garlic and chili. Stir really well and let cook for 5 - 8 minutes until the onions are soft.
Add all the cooking wine and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the wine reduces by about half. Pour in the cooking cream and bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Turn the heat back up to high, add the mussels, give a good stir and cover. Leave for about 8 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Julia and I have a passion for wholesome fresh food. Here you can find what's cooking in my Spanish kitchen, with inspiration from my Newfoundland roots!
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