We enjoyed a very good batch of mussels last night. I’ve made a lot of mussels in my day and I never really know what’s going to be inside of those shells until I cook them and they open up. Sometimes the meat is small and sometimes it’s large. Last night, it was huge. Each mussel was almost full to the edges and the entire batch was perfect. I was so happy. I get so disappointed when it’s all shell and no center. I’ll have to remember this time of year, where the mussels came from or whatever else it was that I suspect gave me the results we enjoyed so much.
Anyway, as you probably already know, mussels are one of my favorite ingredients for dinner. Like I said above, I’ve eaten them a lot in recent years and for all those times I’ve eaten them, I’ve steamed them right in a pot on my stove top. To see all my mussel recipes, you can simply search the word “Mussels” in the search bar above. Steaming these things is a great way to cook them because it’s even and it does a good job.
A few days ago, I was reading through one of my cookbooks when I discovered a new mussel recipe that I hadn’t tried yet. It looked like all the others, but this one oven-steamed them as opposed to stove top-steaming. I knew I had to try this new method out.
This is an extremely simple dish to prepare. All you need is some mussels, garlic, red pepper flakes, white wine and a few other ingredients. Once you heat up the oil, garlic and red pepper flakes on your stove top, you’ll add in the mussels and then steam them in the oven. The claim is that the mussels are much more evenly cooked in the oven than on the stove top because of the longer cook time, but I’m not sure that’s true. I’ve never had an unevenly cooked mussel, but I will tell you that the cook on these from last night was spot on.
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
4 Pounds Mussels
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Parsley, Minced
I’d like to thank America’s Test Kitchen for their resource called The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook. Of course this dish came out perfectly. All of their dishes always do.
Adjust your oven racks so one is in the center position and then pre-heat the oven to 500°.
Warm Up Ingredients
Warm a large (large enough to hold all the mussels) oven-safe pan or pot over medium heat on your stove top and then add the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about one minute. Then, add in the white wine and allow that to simmer for about three minutes until it reduces slightly. Finally, add the thyme and salt to the pan and mix these ingredients in with the others.
Cook the Mussels
Add the mussels to the pan and then cover it. Turn off the stove top heat and place the pan inside the oven for 25 minutes. When finished, remove the pan from the oven and turn off the heat. Add the parsley to the rest of the ingredients and then use a large spoon to toss the mussels with the liquid on the bottom. The mussels should be coated with that liquid. That’s where all the flavor is.
Plate & Serve
Divide the mussels between plates and enjoy! You can add more parsley to each place if you wish to jazz things up a bit.
The Final Mussel Dish
Since there are only two us of here, I prepared these mussels in two different skillets. I left them right in the skillets and we ate straight from them. That was fun. You can do whatever you want. As you can see, there’s not much going on here. As long as you get the flavors right and get the mussels cooked, you’re going to love this recipe. If you do decide to try it out, please let me know what you think in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!