Katie’s Garlic Steamed Mussels Recipe.

I was on a roll this weekend. I bought new running shoes (shhh – my Ortho recommended waiting until August to start with the running again; we’re not telling him), hit two bookstores (no surprise there), and bought $50 of tasty, tasty seafood at the grocery store. Accidentally. Or something.

It went like this: I stopped in for some fresh Italian bread, cauliflower, and a rotisserie chicken late Saturday afternoon. I was craving some tasty eats to go with my Undercover beer. Then some smoked cheese fell into my cart. Oops. Then I accidentally meandered into the seafood section and saw that salmon was on sale. So I grabbed an entire filet. And cod. So I got one of those, too. And then I nearly flipped my lid because they had bags of mussels, which, in my excitement, I briefly mistook for oysters. I had dreams of a bucket of steamers and drawn butter, a la New England.

Fozzie: “But Kermit, what is more illegal? Stealing a bag or two of mussels and running out of the store crazy with glee? Or letting the Muppets die from sad?”
Kermit: Stealing the mussels!

Ahem. Sorry. Don’t know where that came from. Anyway, as I was buying the seafood and chatting up the guy behind the counter, I realized I had confused the mussels with oysters, the things steamers are really made from, but got over it quickly. I had a great recipe for steamed mussels, and even if it wasn’t as tasty, it was still damned good.

Garlic Steamed Mussels

Buncha mussels
2 Tbsp olive oil (good quality)
2-4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup parsley
2 Tbsp margarine

I had two bags of mussels, and I never once checked in all my excitement, but let’s guess they were a pound each? They were each approximately the size of a cantaloupe, if that helps you gauge the amount of mussels I was working with.

Scrub the mussels with cold water and toss into a discard pile any with broken shells or those that are already opened. Trust me – you don’t want to skimp on this step. I ended up tossing about a third of the mussels I’d bought, and I was getting ready to be mad at the store, when I remembered I’d only paid $3/bag. So not worth another trip over there. Plus, I was too busy reveling in the seafood smell. Go ahead and laugh at me – but it smells like the ocean and like home.


As you’re working on that, get a stock pot (I think mine is 6-8 quarts?) and start warming 2 tblsp of good quality olive oil, and 2-4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced. I did two big cloves and could have doubled it. Then again, I like my garlic to be strong. I only started warming the mixture on low, low-medium heat. I wanted it to start warming, but no so much that I had to deal with a kitchen fire, ya know?

Once all of the mussels are cleaned and sorted, add the mussels to the stock pan and try to get them coated with the olive oil and garlic mixture. But don’t burn yourself – it’s going to be tasty whether or not those last few mussels are coated. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup of whatever white wine you have on hand, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Crank that stove-top up to high, and steam the mussels (covered, natch) for five minutes. Try not to imagine the wee little mussels shrieking – it makes it harder to eat them in good conscience later.


When the five minutes are up, uncover the mussels and try not to dive face-first into the pot. Those things are hot! Also – not done yet. Add 1/4 of parsley (if you’re a huge parsley fan, add more if you’d like) and also 2 Tblsp of stick margarine. Or, if you’re like me, just add the remains of whatever stick you have going in the fridge. I had about 4 Tblsp left, so that’s what went in. Steam on high, covered, for another minute to let the new yumminess seep in.

After a minute, try to stir those suckers around a bit to make sure everyone has some parsley and butter lovin’. Then, you can either serve right out of the stockpot (after removing from the heat so as not to overcook the remains), or you can do what I do, which is to separate the mussels and the broth.

Mussels3   Mussels4

I serve up a bowl of mussels, with a goodish bit of broth at the bottom. That way you can swirl your mussels before you eat them, and you also have room to dunk in your garlic bread. Nom nom nom. Any broth you have left over can be frozen and used as a stock base for soups and stews. I have never had any left over to try that, though. So good luck with that.

Needless to say, after alllll of that tasty bread and mussels, I didn’t eat a single bite of the salmon that I made ahead for what I guess will be tonight’s dinner. And also today’s lunch. It’s going to be a tasty week of eating at Casa de Katie!



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One Response to “Katie’s Garlic Steamed Mussels Recipe.”

  1. Agent Torklepants Says:

    I thought steamers were clams? I don’t think I’ve had anything from the shell either way. I remember calling them Slimers when I was little instead of steamers though 🙂

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