AND PREPARING MUSSELS
people are put off buying and cooking mussels at home by a
fear of eating a "bad" one. Certainly, there is
a mysticism and air of complication surrounding their purchase
and preparation, but there really is very little to fear about
these delicious bivalves.
can be naturally harvested, or farmed on long ropes dangled
from rafts, or grown on posts driven into the seabed. In every
respect, they are a truly organic and nutritious food.
mussel is a very simple creature: it lives in the sea, attached
to whatever it's growing on by tough bear-like tendrils. It
sits there all day, sucking in and squirting out sea water,
sifting out food and nutrients.
is, along with all the good stuff that gets sucked into your
basic mussel, can come some unwanted stuff as well. Unfortunately,
it is the mussel's simple filter feeding process that can
give rise to stories of people writhing around in agony losing
half their body weight in a day.
that needn't be the case: here are a few very simple rules
for you to follow when buying, preparing and cooking mussels:
your mussels with care, buying them only from reputable
supermarkets and fishmongers.
mussels are always sold live: they should be shiny, mostly
unbroken and closed, and generally smell of nothing other
than the sea.
them home straight away and cover them with plenty of
cold fresh water (mussels don't like tap water, so they
shut up and wait for the real tide to come in!).
them well and remove any barnacles and the tough fibrous
'beard'. Throw away any with broken shells.
mussels that refuse to close when rapped on the side of
the sink are dead: throw them away.
that remain closed having just been through the cooking
process were dead before you bought them and should also
be chucked out.
cook mussels for the briefest time - two to three minutes
at most, or until they just open. That way, they'll be juicy,
sweet and tender.
article comes from Chef Jim Fisher who now runs cooking
holidays in the Dordogne.
you would like to know more about Jim and how he gained his
love of cooking why not have a look at his biography page
find out more about the cooking holidays in France at Jim's
cooking school in the Dordogne you will need to visit his
web site <click