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15-Minute Mussels

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
Tomato sauce for pasta is one of the easiest things to make. Everything gets dumped into one pot, then you turn the heat to low and let it simmer to mellow out its tomato-y-ness (pucker!) and richen its flavor. I’ve yet to make a pot of tomato sauce without leftovers, and the remaining always goes into the freezer.

So what to do with leftover, frozen tomato sauce? Well, you can make another batch of pasta (yawn) or grab a pound of mussels, a few cloves of garlic, a glug of wine and 15 minutes later, you’ve got a fabulous dish like the one you see above!

Alright, here we go.

I love garlic, so I use lots. In a pot or sauté pan (basically a frying pan with high sides and a hopefully you’ll have a lid, too), add a good drizzle of olive oil and garlic. Turn the heat to low. YES—add the olive oil and garlic first before you turn the heat on. As the oil warms, the garlic will infuse the oil and slowly cook (i.e. not burn). Burnt garlic is bitter. Bitter is baaaaad.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Keep watching the garlic and the heat! No burning!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
As you see the garlic starting to brown, immediately add in the mussels (make sure you’ve already scrubbed, picked over and discarded shells that won’t close or are cracked).

Do it now! If you wait any longer, the garlic will burn! (Okay okay, I’ll stop with the garlic lecture!)

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Use your spatula to toss the muscles in the garlicky goodness (oops, there I go again with the garlic!).

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Turn the heat to high and pour in some white wine, vegetable broth, clam juice or beer. About 1 cup for 1 pound of mussels will do just fine. Add in a generous pinch of salt, stir and bring to a boil.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover, and now take a peek at the mussels. Discard any that have not opened.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Like this little bugger.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Before you add the tomato sauce, I want you to taste it. Is it puckery? If so, add a generous pinch of sugar to tame down the acidity.

Add in your tomato sauce (ooohhh … about 1 1/2 cups or so), stir and bring the whole thing to a simmer. Let it go for another minute or so.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Add in some minced parsley or basil, and you’re done!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Do you love? Do you love? Please tell me you love!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Okay, the reason why you DON’T cook the mussels in the marinara sauce (we simmered them in wine first) is that one bad mussel can ruin the poor diner’s entire meal. Cooking the mussels in the wine lets you see very clearly which mussels have not opened. If you had cooked them in thick red sauce, it might have been more difficult to see.

 
So there’s one of my favorite ways to use leftover marinara sauce! What’s yours? Send me some ideas!

 
 
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Jaden Hair is a food writer, television personality, and food photographer based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Find more of her recipes in her blog, Steamy Kitchen, where you can also read more about Jaden’s new book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, and the rave reviews it’s received!

 

28 Comments

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Paula on 5.5.2010

so tasty…!

Miss Tish on 5.4.2010

I LOOOOOOVE shellfish and love mussels…this makes me miss the Pacific Northwest where they get them right out of Penn Cove and right on to your plate.

Now I live in Wyoming. I may have to search a little and maybe I’ll get lucky. Or I can hit up whole foods in Ft. Collins, CO and see from there. :)

Kirsten on 5.3.2010

This dish looks fantastic and I can’t wait to make it for my boyfriend who is a seafood fanatic! It looks just like the garlic (LOVE IT!) mussels we get at Little Creatures brewery – one of our favorite restaurants on the harbour in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Vicki B on 5.3.2010

Omlettes! I know it sounds weird but leftover marinara poured over mozzarella omlettes is so good. Otherwise mushrooms are sauted, marinara added and poured over grilled polenta.

Gaelle@whatareyoufeedingyourkidsthesedays.com on 5.2.2010

Mussels is one of my favorite easy dish to make. It does require a little bit of time (for cleaning the mussels) but after that, it’s so fast! And so good. My children love them!