I love Mussels. They are low in calories, easy to prepare, cheap and overall- DELICIOUS. I have never had a formal training on how to prepare mussels but my first experience having mussels came on my 23rd birthday when my ex-boyfriend cooked me dinner (and i still had to clean the dishes…hence the EX lol) by putting a huge pot of mussels to steam and then drowning them in a garlicky tomato sauce. We must have eaten a pount of mussels each. And from then on I have always prepared mussels the way he used to.
I purchased this lot for $3. Cheap right??? I know!

I de-bearded (gross) the mussels and and scrubbed the shells and then placed them in a hot pot with cloves of garlic and a chunky tomato puree. I let them steam for about 8 minutes… or until they were all opened. and was ready to enjoy.
See? EasY!

And yummy! I was really pissed though because my ex told me not to cook a mussel if it was open. So i was going through my pound of mussels and pulled out 12 closed mussels. I was washing them and then one of them opened up… so i threw it into the sink. When my mussels were done cooking, the open one i threw in the sink was now closed. Please excuse my ignorance… becuase I wasted about 30 other mussels becuase they were open.

Luckily when i saw how many Good mussels remained, i made a serving of whole wheat linguine. That was satisfying…but i was still kicking myself over the waste.
So, I did some research the very next day. And to prevent any further ignorance for anyone else out there that wants to make some delicious mussels… read on.
First and foremost… Mussels are ALIVE when you buy them shelled (they should be at least). Live mussels open their shells from time to time. When you are sorting and cleaning your mussels and come across an open one, give it a tap and set it aside. If its closed when you come back to it, its a good one. If its still open- chuck it- that baby is dead. And mussels are the only shellfish that cannot be eaten RAW- so please cook them thoroughly!
* you can cook mussels and refrigerate them- but do not leave them in the fridge for longer than a day
* If you purchase mussels they will stay fresh in the fridge for a day or two at most
* you can shuck them and cook them open shelled but you have to make sure they are alive before you go and kill them. 🙂
With my new knowledge, I tried mussels again last night and what a success- i will be reporting my success sometime in the week… But i have to show you the love my BFF showed A HORRIBLE picture of DELICOUS flan. I have made a lot of things in my life but FLAN is something i have never touched. It is going on the list for 2010. I will make a flan this year! I promise!
Flan- creamy, caramel, custard, sin. My BFF makes the best flan ever! its got an awesome texture and the flavor is through the roof!
I took random spoofuls of this baby to make it last longer.
A funny note on the texture of this flan… i took my parents out for Korean food for the first time and when dad took his first ever bite of tofu he said quick at his wits that it was like flan. So if you like a medium firm baked tofu texture- you are sure to like flan. 🙂