***RECIPE, MAKES ONE BIG PORTION, MULTIPLY AS NEEDED***
1 lb (454g) live mussels
1 cup white wine (237 mL)
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 small shallot
1 lemon (one is enough for a few portions)
1-2 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
red chili flakes
fresh herbs (I like fennel fronds)
Pull any beards off of the mussels and wash them clean. Peel and chop the garlic, thinly slice or chop the shallot, pick and chop the herbs.
Melt the butter in a pot on moderate heat (I don’t like to let the butter brown), dump in the garlic and shallot and cook them for a minute. Put in the wine and bring it to a boil. Grate in some of the lemon zest. Put in as many chili flakes as you want and grind in some pepper. Pour in the oil.
Dump the mussels in the pot, stir them around, cover and let them steam for a couple minutes before you start checking on them. Cook until the mussels open up, and stop before the meats appear to shrink — maybe 5 minutes, total. While you’re waiting you can cut the lemon into wedges for the table.
Use a slotted spoon to fish the mussels out to a serving bowl. If you see any that didn’t open, either toss those, or hold them over somewhere that’s not the pot or bowl and pry them open — if they look and smell good inside, they’re probably fine.
Taste the broth and consider adding salt and maybe a little lemon juice. Stir in the fresh herbs at the last second and pour the broth over the mussels. To eat them, I like to pull off the top shell (the one that isn’t connected to the meat) and discard; take the shell with the meat and dip it into the broth to fill it up; slurp; repeat.