Gorgonzola Steamed Mussels and Traditional Mussels

2 pounds of mussels, 2 recipes, 2 very satisfied people. 

Before this, I had never made mussels before.  The past three years have been spent exploring cooking but I wasn’t yet ready to tackle the shell fish department yet.  How do you open the shells? Where do you get them? Can they bite? All are questions I faced before being served Mussels in a creamy gorgonzola sauce at La Cupola in Litchfield, CT.  To be honest, gorgonzola and mussels sounded like a combination I wanted to stay away from.  But I was wrong….so wrong.  My brother and I set off to take on the challenge of this recipe.  Being my first time with mussels, I also opted to make the traditional steamed mussels. I’m aware these recipes are almost identical in their methods and ingredients however the gorgonzola makes them taste so different. 

Gorgonzola Mussels

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh mussels (washed)

2 cups heavy cream (yes I know…but so so good, it’s worth it)

3 tbsp butter (this is getting good)

6 oz of a Guinness beer (oh did I not mention that…whoops)

1 shallot minced

6 cloves of garlic

1/3 pound gorgonzola 

2 tbsp red pepper flakes

Method:

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a pan large enough to fit the mussels.  Sauté shallots and garlic for five minutes until tender and fragrant.  Add cream, beer, and red pepper.  Bring the mixture to a boil and lower the heat to medium.  Stir in the gorgonzola slowly saving roughly 1/4 cup.  Add the mussels and cook with a lid on the pot until the shells open.  Note: any shells that do not open are dead and not suitable for eating.   Remove the mussels with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.  Pour the broth over the mussels and stir in the extra 1/4 cup of gorgonzola. 

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Traditional Steamed Mussels (these are exceptional by the way)

Ingredients:

1 shallot minced

6 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup dry white wine

2 tsp dried basil

2 tsp tarragon

2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper 

Method: 

Melt 2tbsp of butter in a pot or pan large enough to fit the mussels.  Once butter is melted sauté garlic and shallots for about five minutes until fragrant and soft.   Add the wine, cream, and spices and keep the mixture on constant high heat for five minutes.  Add the mussels and cover with a lid.  When the mussels open, they are done.  Note: Any closed mussels are dead and not suitable to eat.  Remove the shells with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl.  Pour the broth over the shells and eat immediately. 

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