Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mussels in Red Wine Sauce (GAPS : primal : grain-free : gluten-free)


Mussels are a relatively mild-flavored seafood.  They pair wonderfully with red wine and some of the remaining garden-fresh tomatoes and basil.  Mussels are amazing nutritionally since the whole "animal" is eaten! 

I cooked a quick lunch of these mussels in red wine sauce last week for myself and the kids.  My 5-year-old was skeptical (she's unfortunately reached the age of being suspicious of new foods, and especially anything too "chewy"), but I prepped her ahead of time not to make a big deal about it since her little brother will follow whatever he sees her do.  Her 2-year old brother and I loved this dish.  My son ate 8 mussels on his own!

I must admit that we enjoyed this with a few pieces of toasted, buttered crusty sourdough bread (which we buy from a local bakery once every few months as a treat). The juices are just so good to sop up with the toast.  But this dish would also be great without the bread, just eaten as a soup.

This recipe was based on one from Gorging Gorge, but I did make a few changes to the recipe.

Mussels in Red Wine Sauce
Serves 3-4
  • 3 Tb butter, preferably from grassfed cows
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 very large ripe tomato, or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or substitute canned tomatoes in the winter)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine, such as chianti (or substitute vermouth)
  • 1 pound precooked mussels (frozen or partially thawed are fine)*
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed chopped fresh basil leaves
  1. Melt the butter in a 4-quart pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt.  Saute for about 10 minutes, until it is nicely translucent.
  2. Add the chopped tomato and garlic to the pot.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the tomato starts to break down.
  3. Pour in the red wine and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let the wine cook down for a few minutes. 
  4. Add the mussels.  Since they are pre-cooked, you only need to cook them for a few minutes to fully warm them.  I nestled them down into the sauce and cooked them for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the fresh basil, stir it in, and turn off the heat.  Put a lid on the pot to let the basil wilt for about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Ladle into bowls and enjoy! Don't forget to discard any mussels that are not opened up.
*I don't have access to fresh mussels where I live. If you can get fresh mussels, feel free to use them!  You'll just need to increase the cooking time by about 5-7 minutes.

3 comments :

Best wine in paso robles said...

I like the post and its really interesting. I also tries to make different kind of sea foods with wines. Its simply impossible to make sea foods without wines for me. I usually use red wine and white wine.

Jenny said...

This post has DEFINITELY inspired me to try having mussels at home. I've no excuse, I live next to the sea. The sourdough sounds like great accompaniment.

Chill out bars in Singapore said...

I just faltered on your red wine blog and desire to pronounce that I have truly enjoyed reading your blog posts.