Are you looking for the perfect way to start a great meal? An appetizer to please your guests in an extra special way? They’ll be saying “Mmm”! while they devour these little tender pieces of fried goodness. Before The Bold and Beautiful Blogger’s Brunch @ Casa Daisy, I never had mussels. The little shell-fish was always misunderstood on my part. Preparation is easy as 1, 2, 3, yet I never turned to the direction of mussels.
Daisy handed me the freshly steamed mussels for me to coarsely chop. Great idea, because I took that time to get to know the mussels better. Right? There I was chopping and thinking, I will try them. Doesn’t hurt to try something you never had, as odd as it may look. I said goodbye to my coarsely chopped mussels as they were mixed in with the rest of the yummy ingredients by Carolina, Mimi, and Ofelia. They were prepared beautifully.
The béchamel fell on top of the mushroom and Serrano ham mixture topped mussel shells like snow on a mountain’s peak. They looked so appetizing.
Before I knew, the mussels were breaded and tossed in the pan for a quick fry.
Daisy paired the hot mussels right off the pan with a chilled bottle of Clean Slate and they blended perfectly. The peach and lime flavors in the Clean Slate dance along with the hints of citrus in the mussels and compliment the mussels so well. Every bite and every sip left me wanting more. A match made in my mouth! It was delicious!
As we held up our glasses in unison, we toasted to the beginning of a superb meal thanks to Daisy Martinez.
Old-School Stuffed Mussels
Makes 40 stuffed mussles
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
For the Béchamel:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
For the Mussels:
1 pound small mussels (about 20 mussels)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup finely diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 ounces Serrano or prosciutto cut 1/8-inch thick, then into tiny dice (about 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsely
1 tablespoon sherry
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup plain dry bread crumbs, or as needed
Zest of one lemon
Make the bechamel: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk the flour and cook until the roux is smooth and bubbly, but hasn’t taken on any color, about 3 minutes. Pour the milk into the roux, whisking continuously, until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and glossy, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pour 1/2 inch water into a wide skillet. Bring to a boil, add the mussles, and cover the pot. Steam, shaking the pan occassionally, just until the mussels open, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the mussles and discrad the cooking liquid. Pull the the mussles out of the shell and twist the she’ll into two halves. Line up the the halves on a baking sheet. Chop the mussles very coarsley, put them ina small bowl, set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, intil the onion is softened but not browned, about 4 minues. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until any liquid they have given off is evaporated. Stir in the ham and parsely, the zest of one lemon, and cook 1 minute. Pour the sherry into the pan and cook until it is evaporated. Scrape the onion mixture into a bowl with the mussels and season lightly with salt. Stir In 2 teaspoons of the bechamel sauce. The filling may be made up to a day before serving the mussels. Wrap it well and regierate.)
Fill as many of the mussel shells as you can with the filling, making sure the filling goes from one end of the shell to the other and mounding the filling, making sure the filling goes from one end of the shell to the other and mounding the filling very slightly. Using the remaining bechamel and working with a small spoon, coat the filling with an even layer of béchamel and working with a small spoon, coat the filling with an even layer of béchamel just thick enough to completely mask the filling. Line the coated mussels for up to a few hours to firm up the béchamel.
Coat the mussels: Holding each by the edges of its shell, dip only the béchamel coating stuffing into the beaten egg. Hold the mussel over the egg for a second or two to get rid of excess egg. Return them to baking sheet, crumb side up, as you work. Once the mussles are breaded, they should be cooked within 30 minues.
Heat 3/4 inch of vegetable oil ina wide heavy skillet over medium heat until the tip of the handle of a wooden spoon inserted into the oil gives of a steady stream of bubble (about 350 degrees F). Add as many of the mussels, crumb side down, to the oil as fit comfortable. Fry until the crumbs are golden brown and the filling is warmed through, about 4 minutes. If the crumbs start to brown much before that, turn down the heat and wait a few minutes before frying the rest. Drain briefly on paper towels and serve hot.