The weather was bright and sunny, lifting everybody's mood and also enticing people to head out just to be under this glorious weather.
This beautiful weather must have also made my regular fishmonger feel generous that he gave me a bag of mussels and two slices of fish fillets for free.
Mussels - I usually have them in restaurants, but never at home. So, I really had no idea what to do with it.
First thing I did when I reached home was to soak it in salt water, thinking it should be similar to lala..
Unfortunately, I was wrong.
I had this nagging feeling that I was doing something wrong and I had flashbacks of stories about people getting food poisoning after eating shellfish. So, I decided to google "How to cook mussels."
I read through three sites and all three stated that:
- mussels should be alive when I cook it;
- I should not soak the mussels in water because I will DROWN it!!
- I'm suppose to knock the mussel's shell and if it opens and close easily, means it is safe to eat. If not, i should throw it away.
- I needed to remove 'something hairy' sticking out of the mussels *It was icky*
- I needed to scrub the shell to get rid of the other sea creatures that were stuck to it. *I threw a few mussels away because there were some really 'stubborn creatures'*
- Any mussels with a cracked shell should be thrown away,
Oh, I actually don't know if my mussels were alive. I knocked it hard, but none of the mussels opened.....
So, I just dunked the scrubbed ones into hot boiling water... *I didn't hear any squeal like how live crabs do* After a few minutes, all the mussels opened up.... And I could feel my salivary glands producing more saliva in my mouth ;9
I made garlic butter mussels.
The mussels tasted really good. I could really tell the difference between those found in supermarkets and these ones. Its softer, juicier and very much less rubbery.
So, the last two rules of cooking mussels were:
- Boil till the shell opens. Throw the closed ones away.
- Do not boil too long if not it will be too rubbery
On the bright side, I do love trying out new dishes to cook and watching people enjoy it too :)
One more benefit of doing stuff in the kitchn during spring - I get to wash dishes, look out the kitchen window, and see this:
Hello, spring again!