Mussels are in season right now and best of all, very affordable. I purchased them at Whole Foods for $6.99 for 2 dozen mussels-not bad. So, if you are looking to prepare a fancy looking meal but not wanting to spend a fortune, buy some mussels. You can make this meal for around $10 ($5 per serving)which is a lot less expensive than your local fancy-shmancy restaurant when you are trying to stay within a budget.
Mussels are very easy to prepare and they provide a light and nutritious meal. They are high in B12 vitamins, that keeps your nerves and red blood cells healthy, and provide a readily absorbed source of many other B & C vitamins, amino acids, vital minerals including iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc. There are only 9 calories per mussel! The bacon I added was just for some smokey taste and well, it’s bacon, and who can turn down bacon? Plus it provides more protein. I purchased organic bacon that per slice contains, 60 calories, 3 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat and 8 grams of protein..really not that bad for you. Just would not eat large quantities of this per day. As with everything, in moderation.
This meal is a really easy and quick recipe to prepare allowing more time to actually spend with your dinner partner and Enjoy each others company!
Mussels with Bacon & Rosemary in a White Wine Sauce
Ingredients: Serves 2
2 pounds mussels
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 pieces
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
5 large garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 whole sprigs, fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt, to season
Freshly ground pepper, to season
Scrub and debeard the mussels under cold water. Discard any that are cracked or which do not close completely after being touched. Set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the pieces of bacon, reduce heat to low and let cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. About 5-7 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Add in the wine, red pepper, and rosemary and bring to a simmer. Once the wine comes to a boil, add the mussels to the pot and cover. Let mussels steam for 2-3 minutes, then use a spoon to toss. Recover and let steam for an additional 5 minutes, until most of the mussels have opened all the way.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the mussels to a large bowl. Discard any mussels that didn’t open all the way during cooking. Return the pot with the broth to the flame and whisk in the butter and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced.
Pour the sauce over the mussels and serve with a French baguette.