Champagne Steamed Mussels

Do you like Champagne? Sparkling wine? Eh. Me neither. I mean I always take the token glass at a wedding when it’s time to toast the bride and groom. CHEERS! Best of luck! No, really, I mean it : ) And I won’t shy away from a few sips when the clock strikes 12 tonight and 2020 is finally over—well, let’s be honest. I probably won’t be awake, but I’ll toast the new year in my dreams.

Anyway … Christmas morning I made mimosas—no, not for me … remember I don’t like Champagne and orange juice? BLECK! But I made them for Gastro Gabe (can we just call him GG from here on out?) and he drank one. Maybe two. And then I was left with more than half of a bottle of Champagne that would go to waste. What to do, what to do … hey. I know. 

Steamed shellfish in champagne is so good your lips will beg for seconds.

And so, later that day I tossed a few slivers of garlic (well, more than a few), a shallot and some fresh rosemary into a pan and the masterpiece you see here was created. So today, which happens to be New Year’s Eve and National Champagne Day, go ahead and open a bottle (or two) of champagne and don’t worry if it hangs out overnight, opened on the counter because someone didn’t know what to do with it. You can use it tomorrow to make this amazing “so good your lips will beg for seconds” dish. Hint, hint. You reading this, GG??

A NOTE ABOUT MUSSELS … unquestionably, mussels are one of my favorite things to eat, but it’s only been fairly recently that I’ve started cooking them at home. I used to be timid, but now I know they’re beyond easy to cook. Best steamed or boiled, they take less than 10 minutes and are easily tossed into a large pot full of herbs, garlic and a rich tomato-based sauce or broth. When buying from the grocery, make sure they were stored on ice and only buy ones with tightly closed shells. A good fishmonger will sort them for you. Before cooking, be sure to lightly scrub the shell before immersing them into your final dish. Mussels are farmed, and harvested wild, on the upper portion of the East Coast up into Canada as well as the West Coast but the large majority, like many shellfish, come from New England. My personal favorite are Prince Edward Island (PEI) mussels and honestly, its a rarity that I eat any other variety. Nutritionally speaking, mussels have a tad bit more fat than other shellfish, but it’s still slight and the amount of protein far outweigh the fat content, literally.

Champagne Steamed Mussels

PREP TIME: 25 minutes  |  COOK TIME: 25 minutes

  • 2-3 TBS olive oil
  • 2-3 TBS plant-based butter
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped or sliced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cups Champagne (or however much you have left and then some white wine)
  • 2-3 springs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup seafood stock
  • 2-3 TBS parsley, chopped for garnish

Saute garlic and shallot in olive oil and butter for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add everything else except mussels, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. FOR THE MUSSELS: lightly scrub the shell, rinse and pat dry. Place into an oven-safe dish. NOTE if you are using frozen mussels that are precooked, discard any unopened ones now. If using live mussels, wait to discard unopened ones until after the dish is cooked. Pour liquid over mussels, cover with tin foil and place in oven, 325 degrees, for 10 minutes. And that’s all there is to it! I suggest serving with some crusty bread because you’re going to want to soak up all that “so good your lips will beg for seconds” broth. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: Our recipes are just that, ours. Some are modified versions of dishes we’ve had elsewhere or old-favorites that contained animal proteins, while others are a concentrated effort of trial and error. But all are intended to be altered by you and made to suit your tastes. So if you want more garlic or none at all, go for it. You do you ; )

On Being a Flexitarian

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