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