Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lemony Mussels & Oven Fries

I miss the ocean like crazy...I miss the heavy scent of the sea early in the morning...I miss being pulled walking the dog on the sand - how he would ferociously charge and chase the tide (I know, he's a goon)...I miss watching the lobster boats come in with the day's catch - and I never thought I'd say this, I miss the seagulls.  I also miss fresh-from-the-dock seafood.  Alberta is know for its beef...seafood?...not so much.  Plus, it's expeeennnnsive, averaging $2-3 dollars/100 grams, $9-13.50/ pound...yikes!

So, with that being said I decided on mussels for my seafood fix.  They are:  (1) sustainable, (2) cheap, (3) quick and easy to prepare.  I saw these PEI cultured mussels on my latest grocery jaunt, the answer to my seashore cravings.  I also grabbed a few baking potatoes (I had one sweet potato on-hand), some fresh Portuguese rolls, and the rest of the ingredients for my mussel-mania-meal.

My mussels had been cleaned and debearded, so I just gave them a quick soak in some cold salty water and discarded any broken or dead little dudes (I was lucky, out of the 2 pounds I only found 4 mussels to discard).  You can click on THIS LINK to learn how to clean and debeard mussels if you cannot find prepared ones.  

While my taters were in the oven, I cracked open a beer; one for me, and one for my homies for the pot.  

This feast came together in about 30 minutes, the fries taking a majority of the time.  The mussels were super fresh, they held to the shell and were tender and delicious.  

I didn't have any newspaper to put down on the table, usually this is a messy meal for us (not that we slurp them down like savages, or anything).  I dug out my roll of freezer paper and decided to put it to good use.  

I found this little bitty guy mixed in, he must have been clinging onto one of the bigger dudes.  I shared this with Duke, he sits patiently beside me at the table and waits for his dinner allotment... (#CrazyCatLady).  Notch sits in the corner and stares, and stares...he got a sweet potato fry.  

We savored every bite, dunked our bread in the rich broth, and swirled our fries in ketchup.  Overall this meal was a great treat, it hit the spot.  

Now who's gonna clean up this mess?

Lemony Mussels & Oven Fries
makes 2 servings

For The Oven Fries
2 medium baking potatoes
1 medium sweet potato
1 TBS olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper, few turns from pepper mill

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, line a sheet pan with parchment.  Wash, peel and cut potatoes into large wedges.  Toss wedges in olive oil, salt & pepper, arrange in a single layer on prepared sheet pan, keeping sweet potatoes off to one side.  Bake 10-15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are browned.  Remove sweet potatoes, set aside, flip over the other wedges and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, or until brown and crisped on both sides.  Remove pan from oven, return sweet potatoes onto the hot pan to warm them back up while the other wedges cool a bit.

For The Lemony Mussels
2 pounds mussels, cleaned and prepped (see link above)
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1 12oz bottle of beer or 8oz of your favorite white wine
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 TBS fresh parsley, minced
3-4 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice 
1-2 TBS butter
salt & pepper
lemon wedges for serving
bread for dipping

While the potatoes are in the oven, heat a large pot over medium heat; add olive oil.  When oil heats and begins to shimmer, add sliced shallots and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the mussels, toss and cook for about a minute.  Pour beer over the mussels, stir and release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil, cover and cook 4-5 minutes.  Mussels should now be opened; use a slotted spoon to remove them and set aside.  Add in the minced garlic, increase heat to a rapid boil.  Reduce liquids by half, add the lemon juice and swirl in the butter.  Reduce heat to low, add back in the mussels and minced parsley, stir to coat.  Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper if needed.  Keep warm until the fries are ready.  Serve with lemon wedges and bread for dipping.  

I have shared this post on:
What's Cooking Wednesday, Buns In My Oven
Cast Party Wednesday, Lady Behind The Curtain
Friday Foodie, Simple Living and Eating

Please visit my Link Party page to see where I have shared this post.


  1. I've never ever tried making mussels at home. I'm afraid. But if beer is in the ingredient list I can't go wrong!

    1. Tanya, you really CAN'T go wrong with mussels. You should try them...don't be scared :)

  2. You are right about mussels being sustainable and inexpensive. We don't eat nearly enough seafood because of the costs. This recipe sounds yummy, will be trying it soon. Thanks for the link to mussel cleaning!

    1. Sherri, hope you enjoy them...keep me posted ;0)

  3. Love, love mussels. Thanks so much for sharing them on foodie friday.

  4. I have never eaten mussels Kim. I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing on Creative Monday.



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