Eating Albanian

Mussels in White Wine and Sage

These mussels cooked in white wine are a joy to eat. Mussels are a fun, hands-on meal to share with your partner and children, assuming your kids are willing to try shellfish! They may seem complicated to prepare, but mussels are truly quite easy to cook.
If you don’t like sage, or you don’t have any, you can use any other Mediterranean herb that you enjoy.

Ingredients:
· 2–3 pounds mussels
· ½ cup butter
· One head of garlic, all of the cloves peeled and crushed
· 2 T dried or fresh sage
· 1 t all-purpose flour
· 3 cups white wine
· ½ cup lemon juice
· 1 t salt
· 1 t black pepper

  1. Scrub the mussels, removing any barnacles from the shells. Cut or pull off each mussel’s little mustache that hangs out from the shell. Throw away any open mussels!
  2. Melt the butter in a deep sauté pan (one that has a lid) over medium heat. Cook the garlic and sage in the butter for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and let it cook for a couple of minutes, until the raw flour aroma is gone.
  3. While stirring, pour in all of the wine and lemon juice. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Season with the salt and pepper. Taste the sauce for seasoning, and add more lemon juice, if needed. You can always start with less lemon juice than we call for and add juice until the flavor is just how you like it.
  4. Add all of the mussels to the pan and stir until they are all coated in sauce. Place the lid on the pan and let the mussels steam for 8 minutes. Lift the lid halfway through cooking to stir the mussels; this ensures that cooking liquid will get inside the mussels as they start to open. After 8 minutes, check that all of the mussels have opened. If some are only halfway opened, force them to completely open using the tip of a knife.
  5. Transfer the mussels and sauce to a large serving platter. Serve with crusty bread and chilled white wine. You can also put out a dish of lemon wedges, in case anyone would like to squeeze a little extra lemon juice over their mussels.

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