From smoky corn and mussel chowder to fragrant garlicky steamed mussels, this collection of mussel recipes guarantees fast and flavorful success. For even more mussel love, check out episode 5 in season 3 of Weekends with Yankee for a look at Bangs Island Mussels, a Portland, Maine, company that’s producing more than 250,000 pounds of sustainable shellfish a year.
Made in the style of escargots with lots of butter and garlic, this easy mussels gratinée from star chef Jacques Pépin will find its way into your regular repertoire as either a party starter or, with the addition of salad and a baguette, a weeknight meal. Even better: The cooking liquid from the mussels can be used to make a cold and creamy soup called billi bi.
Corn and bacon are a familiar duo, but you can find similar harmony pairing corn and smoked mussels in a summer corn and mussel chowder filled with vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini, and chilies. Smoked shellfish are a specialty of Maine, so look for brands that hail from that state, including Ducktrap River and Grindstone Neck.
Quick, easy, and delicious — what more could you want from a meal? Be sure to discard mussels that won’t close before cooking and those that don’t open after cooking. And, as with every recipe, taste before you season with salt and pepper (the mussels may be briny enough from the ocean).
This recipe gives a nod to French and Spanish cuisine, but the orange nuggets of cold-water mussels coaxed from their blue-black shells are all about the briny seas around Coombs Island. It was originally submitted to Yankee in 2008 by Chef Sam Hayward of Fore Street restaurant in Portland, Maine.