Updated: Mar 4, 2021
When I think of St. Patrick’s Day, some of the first things that come to mind are four leaf clovers, the color green, Guinness beer, corn beef and cabbage, and let's not forget Irish Cream. But what about seafood? Can seafood be an Irish dish? I thought to myself, no way! But here I am, wrong. This month, I found an interesting recipe that not only looked easy to cook but gave me an excuse to dive into mussels. Not to mention, they looked so gourmet! I honestly did not think that mussels would be so popular with the Irish but the more I dove into traditional dishes the more I found mussels are actually used in a lot of Irish recipes.
All About Mussels
Before diving into our Irish recipe, let’s talk about mussels. There are many different ways to cook mussels. They can be smoked, steamed, boiled, grilled, and even fried. How ever you prepare these tasty morsels, make sure the mussels are alive before cooking. Mussels are very timid creatures. Their number one defense mechanism is to “clam up”, meaning keeping their shells closed. When examining your mussels, if you have one that is wide open and won’t shut, it should be discarded.
If you have never tried mussels before, be adventurous. These delicious mollusks have a sweet, mild “ocean” flavor to them with an undertone of mushrooms. They absorb the flavors of other foods they are cooked with very nicely. Their texture, when cooked, is tender and slightly chewy, firmer than scallops but softer than clams.
At Foremost Seafood, we carry 2lb bags of fresh mussels from Prince Edward Island. Our 2lb bags are $3.00 a pound or $6.00 a bag (price subject to change). We also have available frozen cooked mussels in the whole shell for $3.99/lb as well as frozen New Zealand Green Lip Mussels on the ½ Shell for $6.99/lb. Both are provided in 2lb units.
Mussels may look a little scary to cook, but they are actually quite easy. Here is a simple way to prepare your mussels if you don’t want to add in the Irish spin.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 diced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup vegetable stock or broth
¾ cup of white wine
Parsley to garnish
Lemon to garnish
Rinse mussels and inspect them. If mussels are still open, tap them lightly. If they do not close, simply discard.
Heat olive oil in a deep pot on medium-high heat. Add in onion and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes or until onions are translucent.
Add in mussels as well as stock and wine. Cover with a lid and let steam for about 5 minutes (turning them ever so often) or until shells are open. If you have any shells that did not open during the cooking process, just toss them out.
Pour mussels out of the pot, reserving the broth, and serve with parsley and some lemon for garnish. The juice will go nicely with crusted bread if you would prefer.
It’s as easy as that! The Irish Cider mussel recipe that I will provide is very similar to this simple steam recipe. So if you give this a try and really enjoy it, then give the next recipe a go for a little more flavor in your mussels.
Irish Cider Mussel Recipe
Here is another recipe for mussels that I am sure you will enjoy especially as an alternative for your St. Patrick’s Day dinner. These mussels are cooked by steaming them just like the above recipe but with a few added ingredients for a different taste.
1 medium onion, finely chopped (white onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ pound of pancetta, cut into small dices (can also use bacon)
2 tablespoons of butter
1 ¾ cup of good hard cider, preferably Irish since this is an Irish dish
¼ cup heavy cream
Parsley to garnish
Salt and ground black pepper
Place a large pot over a high heat and brown the pancetta (or bacon) pieces until golden brown and sizzling. Add in your butter, allow it to melt, then add in the onion and garlic. Cook gently for 3 minutes until the onion is translucent.
Add in the cider and allow to bubble for a few minutes so all the flavors come together. Place mussels into the pot, cover with a lid, and allow them to steam for about 4 minutes until they open (discard any mussels that are not open after cooking them), making sure to give the pot a good shake once or twice during the cooking time.
Remove from the heat, stir in the cream and parsley, and season with salt and ground black pepper.
At Foremost Seafood
Who knew that you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a seafood dish? At Foremost Seafood, we pride ourselves on carrying the freshest products for our customers. Whether you are smoking, steaming, boiling, grilling, and or even frying, mussels are an easy yet tasty shellfish to cook. Come on by our storefront located at 1904 Woodman Center Dr. Dayton, OH, 45420 or call us at (937) 298-1986 to place an order ahead of time. Keep clam and mussel through!