Steamed Mussels with Mustard and Ouzo
Most people in Greece drink ouzo. I like to drink it, but I like to cook with it even more! It adds a lovely underlying freshness to so many dishes and is extremelt versatile in the kitchen, for both savory and sweet recipes.
- 1 pound / 450 g mussels in shell
- ½ cup ouzo
- ½ cup water
- 1 star anise
- ¼ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 small green pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice drained
- 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash and thoroughly rub the mussel shells to clean off any debris. Remove and discard the “beards.” Rinse in cold water and set aside.
Put the ouzo, water and star anise in a large, wide pot. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the mussels, cover and steam until the shells open. Immediately remove and discard whatever mussels have not opened. Remove the opened mussels with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Line a colander with a piece of cheesecloth or muslin and strain the mussel juices. Reserve the broth.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, wide pan and cook the onion and pepper, stirring, until softened, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute more. Pour in the mustard, lemon juice and about ½ a cup of the mussel steaming juice and stir. Bring to a simmer. Add the mussels, cover and cook for a few minutes all together. Season withalt and pepper, remove from heat and serve in deep bowls with plenty of good bread