Steamed orange fennel mussels
I extemporaneously picked up some mussels at the grocery earlier today. Not having prepared mussels before but having much experience eating them, I read several recipes and found a recipe for orange fennel mussels that seemed rife to riff upon:
- 1 tblsp canola oil
- 1/2 yellow onion (1/3 cup, diced)
- Zest of 1 orange (1/2 tsp)
- 3/8 tsp fennel seed
- Juice of 1 orange (1/4 cup)
- 6 oz hard apple cider
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh (live) debearded mussels
Use a large (large enough so all the mussels will fit in a tight single layer) and deep pan to sauté the onion and orange zest in the canola oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent, 12-15 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients except for the mussels, turn the heat up and bring to a gentle boil.
Turn the heat down so the liquid is simmering, add the mussels, cover and let steam for 4 minutes. Serve in the broth, with a fork and spoon. The broth is delicious!
I would consider the following substitutions/variations.
- Instead of orange juice, use 1/2 lime juice 1/2 orange juice
- Instead of orange juice, use coconut milk
- Instead of fennel, use coriander. Especially with lime juice or coconut milk
- Instead of onion, use shallot or garlic
- Thai style: substitute peanut oil for canola, coconut milk for orange juice and apple cider, chili pepper and fresh ginger for fennel
- Thai style II: substitute peanut oil or coconut oil for canola, lime and coconut milk for orange juice and apple cider, galanga and/or fresh ginger and/or lemon grass for fennel
- Mediterranean style: Olive oil for canola (keeping heat at medium or lower), garlic for onion, lemon juice and wine for orange and apple cider. Omit fennel or substitute with parsley.