The night before I baked the coconut cake, made the pasta salad, pre-baked the barbecue chicken… at 6.30 am I was packing the snorkeling gear, the body-boards, the fishing poles, the picnic. At 9 am we arrived at our destination at the seashore.
After an entire day of eating, swimming, fishing and jumping waves, our most favorite hours were the ones spent in the only activity we had not planed for: …quietly hopping through tidal pools harvesting mussels!
This was a unique bonding activity for me, my daughter and my mother. There’s something almost sacred about the aromas, the sounds, the silent, the peace you experience when you devote some hours to exploring tidal pools. And then they disappear with high tide as the waves Dash upon the rocks…as if it all had been nothing more than a dream. The seashore you knew so well becomes unrecognizable.
I can’t describe the immense satisfaction I felt in cleaning each mussel we harvested and cooking it for our meal…
…But the pleasure we all felt in sharing and savoring this appetizer was quit obvious… it was DELICIOUS!!
And so, here goes the recipe for “DRUNKEN MUSSELS”, seasoned with sweet memories of a Summer day at the Seashore.
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 lemon, zested
2 cups white wine
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 slices bread, grilled
2 lemon wedges for garnish
Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and let sizzle for about 30 seconds. Season with red pepper flakes and lemon zest, stirring for about 45 seconds.
Quickly pour in wine into the pan and season with black pepper. Bring sauce to a boil, stir in mussels, and cover immediately. Shake pot and let boil for 1 minute.
Stir mussels, replace cover, and let boil for 2 more minutes. The shells will begin to open. Stir in parsley, cover pot, and cook until all shells are open, 1 to 3 minutes.
Serve with grilled bread and lemon wedge.