Cooking: Dive Into Mussels

On Whidbey Island we have our very own shellfish farm called Penn Cove Shellfish. These pristine little shellfish are so fresh and so yummy. You can find Penn Cove mussels, clams, and oysters at many of the local restaurants on Whidbey Island and you’ll find them prepared in a variety of delicious ways.

Penn Cove Shellfish

Today, I’d like to share with you how to easily cook mussels at home, so you can enjoy them with your family and friends for the full island experience at A Home On The Harbor.

live musselsIt wasn’t that long ago that I was uncomfortable with safely cooking shellfish at home. They looked pretty on the beach, but it seemed difficult and risky to serve. Would they be difficult to clean? Would I make someone sick if I did it wrong? I’m here to tell you that I wasted a lot of time when I could have been enjoying delicious shellfish at home! Here is how you do it…

The easiest place to get Penn Cove Mussels is at our local grocery store in Freeland called Payless Grocery. The seafood counter will have small clams and mussels packaged and ready to go. They are very clean and easy to work with.

My favorite recipe for mussels uses the grill! How easy is that!? (Thanks to Martha Stewart for this easy recipe.)

Grilled Mussels with Herb Butter

1/2 stick butter

3 tbsps chopped parsley

3 lbs mussels rinsed and scrubbed

2 lemons

salt and pepper

  1. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill (I don’t even oil the grill). In a small pot, melt butter over medium. Remove from heat and stir in parsley; set aside.
  2. Working in batches if necessary, place mussels on grill in a single layer. Place lemons, halved and lightly oiled, on grill, cut side down.
  3. Grill until mussels open and lemons are warmed through and browned, 5 minutes. With tongs, transfer       mussels as they open to a large platter. (Discard unopened mussels.) Pour herb butter over mussels; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with lemons.

Grilling the lemon made a dry lemon so juicy and it was surprising how much flavor it added. Plus, it smelled amazing!

Home Grilled Mussels

As my husband can attest to, I rarely follow a recipe exactly, so feel free to add flavors as you wish. I’ve used: fresh basil, chopped ginger, garlic, white wine, cooking sherry, and I’ve added the little butter clams and shrimp for variety… doll it up to your delight!

If you are a fan of mussels you might like to join us on the island for MusselFest in March. This is a family friendly spring favorite with chefs, tastings, beer, and music!