I was flicking through a seafood grill cookbook and saw a few recipes for oysters, scallops and mussels all topped with flavoured butter and then put on the barbie. I really liked the idea and instead of using the barbie I just put my mussels under the grill. The results were delicious though I did learn a few things along the way and steps that I would do differently next time. Sorry I don't have exact measurements for ingredients as I just went by feel. I'm sure you can judge how much to use and it really is up to you how buttery/garlicky/chilli you prefer. Leftover butter can be used to put on steaks or even used to make a pasta sauce.
Makes 30-40 mussels depending on mussel size. Up to you how many per serving (4 people entree)
+ 1kg mussels, debearded and scrubbed.
+ a couple of tbsps of softened butter
+ 1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on size and preference)
+ 1/2 tsp chiili flakes
+ chopped parsley (or any other subtle herb of preference)
- Mince the garlic as fine as you can (a japanese mincer plate is very very convenient and achieves almost puree consistency) and add it to the butter along with the chilli and chopped parsley. Mix well and then shaped into a rectangle log on clingfilm and then wrap it up and put it in the freezer to firm up. (I didn't firm up the butter which made it very hard to portion out onto the mussels, so don't skip this step, it'll save you time)
- Boil an inch of water in a saucepan/pot that can fit all the mussels (if not possible cook the mussels in batches). Tip the mussels in and place the lid on. Give the saucepan a gentle shake every now and then. (I actually grilled open my mussels but I don't recommend it as it made the shells incredibly brittle)
- After 2 mins take out any that are open and place onto a plate. Place the lid back on and continue cooking mussels that aren't open. Check every minute until all mussels are open, if some mussels refuse to open, chuck them out or if you're in my household, pry them open at you're own risk.
- Once the mussels are cool enough to handle, take away one side of the shell and discard. Align all the half shell mussels onto a baking tray.
- Take the butter out and cut into 1cm or less cubes and place a cube on top of each mussel.* (make sure you don't put too much as it can become very oily and slightly unpleasant mentally to eat. Thinking of that waistline.
- Grill until the butter has melted and then an extra minute to cook the garlic.
*I didn't add salt to the mussels as they usually are salty enough from the seawater but do taste a mussel before you put the butter on top to check, if it does need seasoning sprinkle a smidgen of salt over the mussels.