For special occasions (in other words: when you need to show off a little) it’s always good to have a few culinary tricks up your sleeve. One thing you should definitely try out is making mussels in white wine sauce. In a total of 10 minutes you can prepare a dish that tastes like it could be served in a high-end restaurant. All you need is white wine, broth, mussels, garlic and a few herbs. That’s it! 5 ingredients, 10 minutes, 100 % success.
Mussels are in season between October and March, so they are a perfect dish for the cold (festive) season. At the moment you can buy a kilo of fresh mussels at the farmers market for a fiver. When served with baguette and salad, a kilo of mussels serves three to four guests as a main course. Mussels contain high doses of vitamin B12, omega-3 acids, iron, calcium and zinc, so they are not only tast but also quite healthy (and a little white wine warms the heart).
When buying mussels, make sure that the shells are all completely closed. Always discard any mussels with broken shells; if the mussels do not open while being steamed, you’ve got to throw them away, too. When they are caught, mussels close their shells and lock a little sea water inside. This way, they continue living. When the shell breaks or opens, the mussel dies and can become poisonous. When you buy fresh mussels and discard all the dubious ones, there’s no need to worry, though.
Mussels to impress
- 1 kg mussels
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 bottle of dry white wine
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- Carefully clean the mussels and discard any open ones
- Chop the garlic and fry it in the butter
- Add the mussels, the white wine, the vegetable broth and the herbs
- Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer for five minutes, then let it cook without the lid on for another five minutes. Be careful: If the mussels do not open, refrain from eating them, they are potentially dangerous
- Meanwhile, prepare a simple green salad and cut the baguette. (Or do it like the Belgians and eat them with home-made chips).
- Serve the mussels in the white wine sauce.
Tip: Instead of using ready-made vegetable broth, you can also finely chop 1 carrot, a piece of celeriac and a piece of leek. Just fry them with the garlic, add a pinch of salt and there you go: you’ve made your own broth