Mussels in Wine

Some of my favorite memories from studying abroad in Copenhagen involve cooking with my roommate Susan and her visiting parents, Lilly and Lars.  They adopted me a few weeks into our time there, and we’ve kept in touch since 🙂  So of course when I finally got a chance to go back to Copenhagen last month, L&L and I had to find some time to cook dinner together!  They gave me a super easy, delicious mussels recipe, which I had to share.  I also used this recipe as a guideline:


3 lbs fresh mussels

1/3 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped shallots or onions

1/3 cup chopped carrots

5-6 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes, drained

1/3 cup chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 cup white wine (I used a dry Riesling)

2 teaspoons of kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Put the mussels in a large bowl, and mix the flour with enough water to cover the mussels.  Apparently this forces out the sand from the mussels – sweet!  Once they’ve soaked for 30 minutes, they should be good to go.   Rinse off the mussels, and pull off the “beards” – the little fuzzy tufts that stick out of the mussels sometimes. Throw away any mussels that are cracked, or not completely closed.  I felt mean doing this.  But I would feel worse if they got me sick.

In a big pot with a lid, heat the butter and olive oil on medium heat.  Toss in the shallots and carrots, and cook for about 5 minutes.  Toss in the garlic, and cook for a few more minutes until the shallots are almost translucent.

The carrots add a pretty color!

Add in everything else, except the mussels.  Bring the broth to a boil.

Smells delicious. Wine makes everything taste better 🙂

Add the mussels, and carefully mix by spooning some of the broth over the mussels. If you have a deeper pot that what I used, you can also just put the lid on, and toss the mixture a little.  You want to make sure all the mussels get some brothy love.  BUT  BE CAREFUL!!  You just brought the broth to a boil, which means unhappy things for your skin if any droplets fall out of the pan from overeager mixing (been there).

Cover the pot, and let the mussels cook for 8-10 minutes.  Almost all the shells should’ve opened up.  Throw away any that don’t open up.  Scoop some of the finished mussels into a bowl, and be sure to get some of the broth – it’s delish!

About now your apartment / kitchen smells like seafood heaven

This needs more broth!

Tip for eating:  pick your favorite mussel, eat the meat, and use half a shell as a spoon to scoop out the rest of the mussels.

I’d also discard all the used shells (both the cracked/ inedible ones, and the ones you’ve happily wolfed down) in a separate trash bag, and take out the trash immediately – it’ll stink up the room otherwise!

Nutritional Info (1/3 of recipe)*:  450 calories, 20g fat: 25g carbs, 30g protein.

*this does not mean I only ate 1/3 of the recipe.  I definitely ate more than half.  Oops.  It’s okay, always good to give yourself a break from dieting.  And it’s the weekend! 🙂


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