Beer Steamed Mussels

mussel.jpgMy daughter has been watching THE DEADLIEST CATCH and since we’d never really tried King Crab Legs, I decided to pick up some at Costco. Since they had some great-looking mussels which we all love, I picked up a bag of those as well.

What’s the best way of cooking mussels, clams, crabs, lobster, etc.? Well, I’m a big fan of steaming since it keeps them moist, is quick and relatively easy. My favorite way to steam them is with beer and here’s the recipe for you to try out!

First of all, you’ll need a pot big enough to hold the steaming liquid and your shellfish. I end up needing one that’s at least 12 quarts or more. Before you steam, make sure everything is clean with a quick scrub with a plastic brush. If you’re doing clams, put them in salted ice water for about 15-20 minutes so they spit out any sand. Same with the mussels. A lot of mussels are farm-raised now, so they are relatively clean and beardless so there’s little to clean.

If there’s any clams/mussels that don’t close up after being in the iced salt water, toss them. They’re dead. Likewise, if they don’t open up after steaming, toss them. They’re dead!

Steaming Liquid:

1 or 2 beers
Handful of chopped fresh parsley
3 to 4 garlic cloves chopped
1 small onion chopped
Some pepper
1 or 2 bay leaves

If you want to add a little zing to the liquid, slice up a small lemon and put that in there as well.

Put the liquid in the bottom of your pan and place a steamer insert above it (one of those little collapsible ones you find in the dollar stores). Layer your shellfish with the bigger pieces at the bottom, like the crab legs, whole crabs or lobsters. Then put the mussels, clams, etc. If you want to do some corn and potatoes, put them right above the bigger pieces and below the mussels, etc.

Yep, we’re talking mini-clambake here. Well, almost. Cover the pot, crank up the heat on high and once it’s steaming, it shouldn’t take more than about 8 to 10 minutes to cook all your shellfish. If you’ve got big lobsters down on the bottom, you may need to do 15 minutes or more depending on the size of the lobster.

Anyhow, make sure you’re melting some butter while the shellfish is steaming!

Once you take the pot off the stove, place the shellfish in a big bowl and ladle just a bit of the steaming liquid over them. Also, put a little bit of steaming liquid in a small bowl or cup and also put some butter in a second small bowl or cup. This way you can dip your shellfish in the steaming liquid and then the butter.

Yum! Way tasty! Hope you check this out and enjoy a shellfish summer steam!