Moules Mariniere is the classic French mussel recipe for a simple yet wonderful presentation of mussels and is probably the most common recipe used in restaurants today.
Storage: Store the mussels in your refrigerator and cover with ice or a damp cloth to keep moist. They should not stand in water, so drain liquid from the container daily.
Usually the mussels will be de-bearded when purchased, however, if the mussels still have their "beards" (byssal threads), wait until within an hour of cooking to remove the mussel beards by giving them a sharp pull toward the pointed tips of the mussels. Lightly rinse the mussels under fresh, running water before cooking, then set aside. If any mussels are gaping open, they are getting weak, discard any that will not attempt to stay closed after squeezing their shell shut or if they have broken shells or an "off' odor. Set aside debearded and rinsed mussels.
Melt butter in a large saucepan and sauté scallions, garlic, and herbs in a large saucepan over medium heat until the scallions begin to clarify, Then turn heat to high, add mussels and wine, and cover pan. Steam 5-6 minutes or until shells are open and meats are not translucent. Remove from heat and pour mussel nectar into bowl. Discard any unopened shells. Serve mussels immediately in large bowls and add nectar. Accompany with French bread, green salad and white wine or ale. i
There are an average of 25 mussels to the pound for farmed mussels and 20 to the pound for wild mussels. Whenever possible, use farmed mussels like Penn Cove's for better flavor and to ensure that you will not find any sand or grit.
Recipe courtesy of Penn Cove Shellfish Farm.