Growing up in the MidWestern part of the country, I had never even heard of anyone eating Mussels. Maybe, just maybe, I don’t even remember hearing of mussels. Hmmmm. As a small kid, tuna from a can or Fish Sticks was about as far as we ever got with seafood. Then, one day, we made shrimp – my first shellfish, and Wow! A whole new seafood, so of course shrimp became my favorite! What other shellfish were out there? Fast forward to my adult life, living in the land of relatively inexpensive shellfish, I’ve learned all about mussels, clams and even that fantastic geoduck (inexplicably pronounced gooey-duck). Anyway, when my daughter was maybe 4, we took her to a seafood restaurant here in the Pacific Northwest. She was positive she needed to have the mussels. What? Are you sure? And, BTW, when did you ever even hear about Mussels? “Yes! I’m sure!” “Well, O-O-O-Kay. And what do you know – that tiny person ate the entire pound, practically by herself. We guessed mussels must have been on the Adventure Bites menu at school that week. That was when I resolved to learn how to make the lovely things. And I found that making them is so embarrassingly easy – who knew?
I often steam mussels in a bath of Trader Joe’s Thai Red Curry Sauce, which is a super-simple but awesome way to cook mussels if you’re short on time. (And, face it, who isn’t?) But for me, it was those crispy oven fries that brought me to this particular recipe from the incomparable Martha Stewart. These were the crispiest oven fries I’ve ever made! Turns out the secret is boiling the potatoes a bit first – who knew? And, the mussels that compliment those lovely fries are steamed in a positively luscious-but-still-simple wine sauce. A light sauce and oven-crisped fries make this a sort of new and healthy spin on fish-n-chips. I did make an aioli for the fries, but really, plain mayonnaise or ketchup work really well for, … well, none of the effort.
Crispy fries, delectable, tender steamed mussels in a slurpable sauce – I know you just want to take a bite! And you should! You won’t regret it! And let me know if there’s a dish you found “embarrassingly simple” to make! Enjoy!
Brothy Mussels with Oven Fries
Adapted from Martha Stewart, this recipe for steamed mussels and oven fries is easy, slurpable, and so so delicious!
Be sure to offer spoons to slurp the delicious sauce! Serve fries with prepared mayonnaise or ketchup.
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Total Time: 60 min
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Seafood
For the Fries:
- 2 lb. potatoes (I used 4 medium-sized russets), halved and cut into 8-10 wedges each
- 6 T olive oil
- Kosher salt
For the Mussels:
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/4 c (1/2 stick, or 4 T) Unsalted Butter
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 1 qt. Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 c Dry White Wine – whatever type you like
- 3 lb. Fresh Mussels (de-bearded and scrubbed)
Prepare the Fries
- Preheat oven to 475F. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to heat it up – this helps the fries crisp nicely.
- In a large pot of generously salted water, place the potato wedges. Place pot over high heat. When it boils, turn heat down and simmer potato wedges 6-8 minutes. They should be just barely cooked through.
- Drain potatoes and let stand about 10 minutes until they dry. Toss with 6 T olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
- Carefully remove the hot rimmed sheetpan from oven, place seasoned potatoes on the sheet, and roast for 25 minutes, turning once. They should be nicely browned and crisp. If desired, season with extra salt.
Cook the Mussels
- When the fries have about 10 minutes remaining in cooking time, using the same pot or a skillet, over Medium High heat, melt 2 T butter and remaining olive oil. Cook the garlic 1-2 minutes, just until fragrant.
- Add the wine and tomatoes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Simmer sauce about 3 minutes.
- Add the mussels and cover to cook for 3-5 minutes. All of the mussels should be opened at this point – just discard any which are still tightly closed.
- Transfer cooked mussels to serving bowls. Add the remaining 2 T butter to the sauce, stir in, and pour the sauce over the mussels. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve with fries.
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