This past weekend, as with every weekend of late, my roommate and I picked up our share from the awesome Mermaid Garden CSF. This week, we received Calendar Island Rope Grown Mussels.
These mussels are grown by Peter Stalk and his family of the Calendar Island Mussel Company in Casco Bay, Maine. They are farmed using a “bought” style, where these mussels are grown on ropes suspended above the ocean floor, which produces extra clean and plump shellfish. #themoreyouknow
Now, I love mussels. My dad makes really good steamed mussels and there’s a couple great mussel restaurants in the DC area. They also make a great appetizer or entree!
While I’ve eaten a good amount of mussels in my lifetime, I’ve never made them at home. I must say, this experience with the Mermaid Garden CSF has been a good opportunity to boost my confidence in my fish and shellfish cooking abilities! We really haven’t had a bad meal yet!
I decided to steam my mussels and make some french fries to go along with it. A little Moules Frites — how the French and Belgian call it! I love this preparation too – my plan of attack is to always to eat the mussels and then drown my fries in the remaining broth… delicious!
Originally, I will be honest, my idea was to make my mussels and buy some awesome pre-made frites from a cool Belgian place in the East Village… but I was persuaded to make my own at home. I was going to do the whole nine yards and double fry them as is traditional, but I was a bit lazy and decided to bake them (plus it’s healthier).
I par-boiled them first, seasoned with salt and pepper, tossed with olive oil and then baked them. I will say, they were good, but not perfect.
That being said, the mussels were amazing! They were huge too – really massive mussels and their “beards,” that they use to cling to rocks etc were intense. I had to wrestle with a few to pull them out (always a little odd to work with mussels as we they are still alive and all). Also, all in all, out of 44 mussels, we had a good yield — 10 were bad from the get go (already dead), and then only 5 didn’t open after being cooked. Pretty good for a huge bag of mussels.
I sauteed garlic and sliced shallots in a little olive oil, added white wine and cream and steamed my mussels in this delicious broth. It was delicious!
Again, a great meal from the awesome Mermaid Garden CSF!