Salt water mussels are a wonderful treat in my family. Of course, this is because if I am eating them, it means that I’m home in New England for a visit to where I grew up and will always feel like home to me. The New England states that lie along the coastline are some of the most wonderful places to eat seafood for two reasons. First, a New Englander knows how to prepare seafood because it is a common fare in these states and second, seafood tends to be less expensive in these states because it is in high supply for the most part. Right beside lobster, for me, comes salt water mussels due to the richness of the flavors.
Preparing salt water mussels is really quite easy, especially if you are like me and prefer them plain, right out of the shell, rather than in a fancy recipe. Small mussels are the best ones for eating this way, as the larger ones are typically placed in an assortment of different dishes. To clean the mussels, all you need to do is run a sink full of cold water and set them in it for a couple of minutes and then use a strainer to get them out. This will get rid of some of the sand and other things that may be stuck to the mussel.
While you are rinsing the mussels, get a large pot of water boiling. Add one 24 ounce can of your favorite beer to the water. When your water is at a full, rolling boil, place the mussels into the pot turn down the heat to low. Place a cover on your pan and let the mussels cook for between twelve and fifteen minutes. You will know that your mussels are done cooking when the shells have opened up.
You may opt to shell them or serve them in the shells, which I would highly suggest, as it is much easier and looks pretty neat, too. Be sure that each person who will be eating them is provided with plenty of napkins, a small ramekin of melted butter or margarine to dip in(you may want to add a bit of garlic seasoning, as well), and a knife for cutting the “beard” off of the mussels. The ease of cooking saltwater mussels is amazing and the flavor is practically irresistable, so make sure that you cook up plenty!