Monday, May 21, 2012

Drunken Mussels – Way Fewer Than 12 Steps!

This seriously delicious drunken mussels recipe is one of the quickest shellfish preparations known to man. Bring a flavorful, wine-based broth to a boil; add mussels and cover; cook until they open, and eat. That’s it!

Of course, before this big bowl of awesome can happen, you need to get everything prepped and ready to go. You long time foodwishers know this is called “mise en place,” which is just culinary lingo for organizing your ingredients.

Speaking of ingredients, most large seafood departments stock P.E.I. mussels, but if you can’t find them, this works beautifully with clams as well. Clearly, this is one of those primary recipes that can be twisted and tweaked in hundreds of ways by using different beverages, peppers, citrus, and herbs. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

For 2 Portions:
2 pounds mussels
2 tbsp butter
4-5 cloves of garlic minced
red pepper flakes to taste
zest from one large lemon
2 cups white wine
freshly ground black pepper to taste
handful of chopped Italian parsley
grilled bread and lemon to garnish

View the complete recipe


Anonymous said...

Perfecto!!!!!!!!!!!!,had them word

Anonymous said...

as not one close to either coast, not sure how fresh the mussels are in the various fish markets of the local grocers. Have you ever ordered online frozen mussels from a reputable vendor or such even possible? If you have CJ, do you have any recommendations for online vendors?

Love mussels despite an incident of food poisoning from a dinner of mussels in Wellington, NZ.

Thanks for the video and recipe.

Chef John said...

Sorry, I've only had the fresh!

tracie said...

Looks delicious!! Can't wait to try it with clams!!

Chris K. said...

A couple months ago I ordered mussels at a place that included kimchi and Pabst Blue Ribbon in the recipe (among other things). Sounds bizarre but they were delicious.

Can't stress enough how important it is to scrub the mussels clean. Nothing sucks like a big bowl of gritty mussels.

Anonymous said...

So, Chef John, could I use mussels that I pilfer off of an Oregon coast beach rock?-------Ahem, I'd appreciate no lectures.
I love this kind of stuff.


Chris K. said...

Also: sneaky Jay-Z reference. I noticed what you did there...

Food Junkie said...

Hurrah an ingredient from my neck of the woods for a change. Easy to get (except this week for some reason) and often dirt cheap here. There are gazillions of variations on broths for steaming and a flavourful broth like this is absolutely essential to getting the best flavoured mussels on your plate. Nice job Chef. While you are making Atlantic seafood delicious how's about a nice seafood chowder or bouillabaisse? Or both even.

Anonymous said...

no shallots in this recipe??????

Steve said...


Regarding chucking mussels that don't open, that appears to be something of a myth, started by a food writer back in 1973. There's nothing wrong with mussels that don't open in cooking. As long as they went into the pot live, you'll be fine eating them.

Hey, you live in San Francisco near the Mythbusters -- maybe you could hop down on the 101 and get them to do a show on cooking myths.

Pantalone said...

Tender and delicious!

Dave said...

Chef John, you're a funny guy man! I'm going to make this recipe for my wife this weekend! Can you tell me what knife that is you're using?

Paul D said...

Chef John,

I'm a seafood rustic pasta kind of guy (like you)...zest, capers, garlic, pepper flakes and all that good stuff.

Would you recommend using the broth over spaghetti or angel hair....kind of like a frutti di mare sort of thing, or would you thicken the sauce? I'm curious how you would approach this?

Paul D said...

Chef John, Would you use this broth over spaghetti? like a frutti di mare kind of thing? or would you modify it to be more friendly to pasta?

Chef John said...

Yes, great with pasta. Some add cream but up to you!

Paul D said...

I tried it tonight as a pasta dish. I used your seafood pasta cooking method:

1) Do not rinse pasta
2) pour over wine/sauce with mussels
3) cover for 5

and of course, if I happened to use Pecorino-Romano cheese, I would never admit it because the pasta police may ticket me for a violation. It's a new "go-to" dish. Easy as clam sauce....

Andrew S said...

Chef John, Andrew here. What is a good white wine to use? I'm guessing a dry white??

Thanks, Andrew.

Chef John said...

Pretty much any drinkable white wine will work. Yes, nothing too sweet! Can't go wrong with a Sauvignon Blanc!

Robert Trifts said...

I made these last night, changed the recipe a little by using perhaps 4 tablespoons of butter instead of two, and added in between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of minced green onion. Recipe, method and preparation was otherwise exactly as you suggested.

The pinch of cayenne was BRILLIANT. I grew up near Shediac, New Brunswick, Canada where fresh mussels and clams are utterly commonplace. Never in my life have I had mussels as good as these John. One of my guests at the dinner party, who also grew up along the East Coast of Canada agreed. It's the cayenne. Total winner. Thank you so much.