Pressed into the fine grains of sand lies an insignificant shell that once danced among the sea's bevy of beautiful creatures, but the fiendish tide ebbs and flows, luring the poor shell to the dry shore where a lone passerby lovingly accepts the sea's humble gift. As if the grandeur of the frothy, crystal blue waters were not enough, the sea graciously parts with one of its beloved jewels, carefully plucked and polished for our pleasure and delight. Eventually, this lost gem will make a new home in a vessel unworthy to hold such beauty, only to remind its new possessor of the day she walked the warm beach sands, sea foam curling around her ankles, the salty mist tussling her hair into tangled waves. A small shell it may be, yet a tangible reminder of God's delicate, purposeful design and gift to those of us who so often forget where simple beauty lies.
For those of you who enjoy shellfish, this simple dish is an ease to make and laced with bright flavors of white wine and fresh meyer lemon. Serve alongside your favorite crusty bread or almond flour biscuit, and enjoy a taste of the sea.
Mussels in Meyer Lemon & Garlic Broth (Serves 4-6)
- 2lbs. wild mussels, cleaned and "de-bearded" (instructions below)
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 1/2 cups shallots, finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup good quality dry white wine
- 1/2 cup fresh meyer lemon juice (about 6 meyer lemons)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked pepper
In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring a boil then to a simmer and cover with lid.
Next, clean the mussels...
Cleaning the Mussels: Make sure when you pick up your mussels from the store that they are alive and packed in ice. The man behind the counter will tell you how to care for them until they are ready to be cooked. Right before you are ready to cook you must clean the mussels. Run each one under cold water, rubbing to remove any sand and grit. You also need to remove the fuzzy "beard" that is on the side of the shell. To do this gently tug back and forth until it slides out. If it doesn't come off that is okay, it will not affect the dish it is more for aesthetic purposes that it is removed.
**If any shells are open gently tap them on the counter and see if they close. If they do not, discard the mussels. Also if any shells have any holes or openings they must be discarded.
When your mussels are ready add them to your pot, raising the heat slightly to medium/low. Cover pot with lid and every minute or so gently stir the pot with a large spoon to ensure each mussels is cooked evenly. Once your mussels have opened they are cooked. If any mussels do not open up they must be discarded.
To serve, place several mussels in a shallow bowl then spoon the broth over them. Serve with crusty bread or almond flour biscuit.