Shellfish Steamed in White Wine

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again—I love shellfish. L. O. V. E. And more often than not, if a restaurant offers steamed mussels on its appetizer list, I order it as a main course. In my former life, I’m pretty sure I must have been a Mediterranean mermaid because I love Frutti de mare, puttanesca, cioppino, paella, and anything and everything cooked diavolo-style … oh, and then there’s the wine … and everything else.

Anchovies, olives, garlic, basil, tomatoes, capers … oh, MY!

Alas, one of my favorite things to cook is a rich, tomato-based seafood stew … but the other day I had mussels steamed in a white wine sauce, so I decided to venture out a bit and try my hand creating it at home. I scoured through multiple recipes and picked the flavors I like best and came up with the recipe below—truth be known, it’s not my favorite. It’s fine, but I missed the red pepper flakes and tomato flavor. But hey, if you’re not into the spice and not a fan of tomato … if you prefer New England clam chowder over Manhattan clam chowder, then this just might be the right combination for you. So give it a whirl and let me know how it goes.

Shellfish Simmered in White WineIMG_9904
COOK TIME: 45 minutes
SERVES: 4

½ onion, chopped
2 medium shallots, sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil—just enough to lightly coat the bottom of your pan
2-3 tablespoons butter
1-2 cups* white wine, nothing sweet
1-2 cups stock*—I typically use vegetable stock but have used fish stock and chicken bone broth *depending on how much liquid you want
¼ cup fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried
1-2 bay leaves
2 lbs mussels
1 lb clams
16-20 shrimp, enough for each person to have 4-5 depending on preference
2-3 fillets of white fish: flounder, cod, halibut, pollack

Purchase fresh mussels that are kept on ice and ask for their harvest date

Sauté onion, shallots and garlic in butter and olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add wine, stock or broth and herbs. Let simmer while preparing seafood.

Wash mussels and set aside. Make sure to debeard if you didn’t purchase them debearded. Note, mussels can have a lot of sand in them so it’s really important to lightly scrub the outer shell. Rinse clams add to mussels. I have used both fresh and frozen clams and they both work equally as well. For this recipe I used Salty Seas frozen clams. Peel and devein shrimp, set aside. Cut fish into half-inch pieces. I use frozen fillets for this and it works perfectly as they thaw while cooking. I used Orca Bay Seafoods frozen flounder.

Toss mussels and clams into broth, then place shrimp and pieces of fish over the shellfish. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes and “shake” the pot a few times to distribute the seafood. Once the shrimp have turned pink, your dish is ready to eat. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the liquid. Optional to serve over pasta. Sprinkle with additional parsley and freshly grated Parmesan. Enjoy!

Coming up next week on the blog … an interview with Barton Seaver, Director of the Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

A note about my recipes … most of what I cook isn’t a precise science. It’s look, taste and feel. And I encourage you to cook the same way. Add a little more of this, or a little less of that … and pay attention … and before long you’ll be a wiz at cooking seafood.

DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox

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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So this little blog is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. Here you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—like where to find the best seafood (and riverfish) in the Midwest. And some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

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