While you are in Italy, you must try a real Italian pizza, in Spain that will be the tapas, in England – fish and chips, in Holland – a lightly salted raw herring, and in Belgium – do not miss the mussels.
Mussels are sold everywhere in Brussels and touristy Bruges, and I have to say, they are excellent. I loved to have a basket of cooked fresh mussels for lunch. A piece of good bread, and a glass of a chilled white wine – what else do you need to enjoy the fresh seafood!
From the recent trip to Belgium I brought a new mussels recipe. This is pretty much the way I cooked mussels before, but I loved the addition of celery to the sauce. It really gives a special taste to the dish.
After returning home I created my own recipe of seafood in wine sauce. The mussels, calamari rings and shrimp turned out absolutely stunning – flavorful, and delicious. I served this sea treasure with a freshly baked baguette – nothing else is needed.
I think this is one of the best recipes for cooking mussels, or seafood in general. Serve as an appetizer or as a main dish.
In a deep frying pan or wide bottomed saucepan heat the olive oil and the butter. Add the onion and chili pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 30-45 seconds.
Add the wine and cook for 1 minute.
Add the celery, bell pepper, parsley, bay leaf, hot pepper flakes, salt, black pepper and mussels. Cover and cook for 7-10 minutes.
After 7-10 minutes, when the mussels will open up, transfer them into a bowl; pour over some sauce with vegetables. Discard all unopened mussels.
To the same broth, add calamari rings and shrimp and cook, covered for 2 minutes. The shrimp should turn pink.
Put the calamari and shrimp into another bowl and pour over sauce with vegetables.
Serve with good white bread, toasts, and lemon wedges.
Mussels are usually sold fresh or frozen. If they are frozen, do not defrost them. Frozen mussels are often sold cooked.
Sometimes frozen mussels are cooked with salt added, so check the ingredients on your package and adjust the salt in your sauce accordingly.
Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!