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Mussels Steamed In White Wine and Cream.

Right we need at least one sea food starter in our armoury and this one has some real street cred. I often order mussels when I am out at a restaurant but you hardly ever see them served at home. On the plate they look fantastic giving this dish the sort of wow factor we are looking for. Like most sea food they are pretty quick to make and have a flavour and texture that is truly memorable. To add to their appeal we need very few ingredient's for fear of overpowering their taste. A word of warning check to see if your guest is allergic to shellfish if you intend serving this one up.

A bit of history

Mussels are shell fish that in the wild generally live along the coast line, although most of what we buy for the table are now farmed on ropes anchored in the sea. The shell is split into two half's and is dark blue on the outside and can be quite shiny on the inside. They live quite a boring life by attaching themselves to a rock and then just sit around waiting for the tide to go in and out, Sounds like some fisherman mates of mine. Anyway as the water passes over them the shells open and they simply suck in and blows out sea water filtering out any minerals or food that happens to pass through.

What Wine?
For the simple steamed dish like this almost any dry white will work, especially a sauvignon blanc.

What Do You Need?
Stock Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp butter.
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine.
  • 1⁄2 onion, finely chopped.
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed.
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper (to taste)
Shopping List 
  • 100 ml cream. 
  • +/-500g cultured blue mussels fresh or frozen. 
  • Parsley for garnish. 
  • Crusty french bread. 

And This Is What You Do!

  1. If the mussels are fresh, clean off the beard with a sharp knife and rinse in tap water once or twice. Discard any that will not close when you tap the shell a couple times. If frozen. thaw them out in cold water, this should only take about 30 minutes or so. Then clean off the beard and rinse in tap water a few times. 
  2. Melt butter over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan or deep frying pan and gently cook the onions and garlic for 2 or 3 minutes. Be careful not to let them brown. 
  3. Add the wine, salt, pepper and cream and bring to a gentle boil, 
  4. Add the mussels and simmer with the lid on for 5-8 minutes, or if they are fresh mussels until they have opened up. Discard any that do not open. 
  5. Remove the mussels from the liquid and place them on plates or its also fun to share them from a nice serving dish or straight from the pan.. 
  6. Strain the liquid to remove any bits of sell or sand and ladle over the mussels. 
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with slices of crusty French bread. 

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