This is truly an easy mussels recipe that you'll love with a rich, beautiful broth which will make you smile as soon as you taste it. What makes this recipe special is the spicy aioli. When this spicy little gem is mixed with the tomato and garlic broth, it really ramps up the flavor.
THIS MUSSELS RECIPE IS: GLUTEN FREE, PALEO, LOW CARB AND WONDERFULLY WELL BALANCED.
THIS MUSSELS RECIPE HAS A BROTH SO DELICIOUS YOU'LL WISH YOU MADE MORE.
One of my favorite things my wife has taught me over the years is the best way to eat mussels. Here's the inside scoop: take the time upfront to remove all the mussels from the shells. Next, pour over some of the broth and add in a dollop of aioli. Mix well and enjoy one of the most delicious soups you have ever eaten. I promise that you will wish that you doubled the recipe it is so good.
GETTING THE MUSSELS READY
There are a lot of home cooks who have never bought mussels. Here are a couple tips to get the mussels ready:
- Look at the tag on the bag before you buy the mussels at the store. The tag will tell you when they were harvested and shipped, as well as the "best buy" date. My word of advice is that the "best buy" date is a bit subjective. Give the bag a smell. It should smell like the ocean. Give it a look. Most of the mussels should have the shells closed.
- When you get the mussels home, wash and put them in a bowl. Leave the beards on at this point simply because removing them may damage the mussel. If you're planning on cooking the mussels immediately, remove the beards (see point 3). Cover the bowl with a damp cloth to keep them moist. There is no need to cover them with ice. Ice is made with fresh water and if it melts, it will essentially drown the mussels.
- To de-beard a mussel, make sure you have a paper towel handy. When you see a section on the side of the mussel that looks like a scrubbing pad got stuck in the mussel, you have encountered a beard. Simply grab the beard with the paper towel and pull down quickly toward the hinge. It will come out easily.
PREPARING THE TOMATO AND GARLIC BROTH
For this mussels recipe, I used my v-slicing mandolin with the fennel to make it paper thin. If you don't have a mandolin, take a couple extra minutes and slice it as thin as you can. The fennel will be much more tender the thinner it is prepared.
Additionally, I use canned tomatoes for this recipe. If you can find them, the fire roasted variety has a better depth of flavor than stewed or regular diced tomatoes. If you're not a fan of canned tomatoes, go ahead and dice some fresh tomatoes. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and roast in an oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes to get a nice roasted flavor.
If you are looking for the same type of wine that I use for the sauce, it is always a white bordeaux. I love the flavor the bordeaux lends to the sauce. When the mussels recipe is ready, a white bordeaux is crisp and beautiful to accentuate the flavors of the sauce.
QUICK COOKING TIP: When you add the mussels to the pot, make sure that the heat is cranked to high. We are going to be adding cold mussels to a hot broth and need to have enough heat to turn the broth liquid to steam. After 3 minutes, stir the mussels and ensure that you are getting the mussels from the bottom of the pan mixed with those at the top. Mix again at 5 minutes.
Final thoughts on the best mussels recipe:
I've eaten a lot of mussels over the years. My favorite mussels recipes always have a tomato base with crisp white wine. Add in some butter, garlic and the sweet fennel and the result is a winning dish. You're going to love this mussels recipe!