Mussels in White Wine – Happy New Year

No pics again. We’re going on vacation and I’ve already packed the camera, and was too lazy to dig it out.

Let’s start with my New Years’ wishes for you and yours and me and mine. Whether or not 2016 was a “good” year or “bad” for you, here’s wishing everyone a wonderful, happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. Hoping for a kinder, gentler, more loving world, and that elusive, peace on earth.

Tonight’s dinner was as easy as it gets. My husband and I have opted not to go out on New Year’s Eve for 31 of our 34 years of marriage and 1 of the 2 years we dated. We enjoy a special dinner, casually in jammies, with drink of choice, watching the ball drop in times square while warm and cozy in front of the fireplace.

The mussels were light, quick, and easy, and tasty as all get out. From start to finish, including cleaning the mussels, this meal took 15 minutes.


  • 2 TO 5# mussels, scrubbed and debearded. If any of the mussels have cracked shells, just toss them, and after cooking, if they haven’t opened, please toss them as well.
  • 2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
  • 3 to 4 shallots, diced, or 1 small, sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced, your choice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 sliced of the zested lemon
  • 2 C dry white wine, or if you prefer, a good Belgian Ale
  • Fresh parsley OR basil, rough cut (optional)


  • Wash the mussels and debeard them, and set them aside in a bowl. Use a large, heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, if you have one. Regardless you need a tight fitting lid.
  • Add the butter to the pot and let it begin to melt
  • Add the garlic and shallots or onion, and let it start to cook, getting translucent, but not browned.
  • Add the red chili flakes and lemon zest, and the two sliced of lemon
  • Stir and cook about 1 minute
  • Add the 2 C dry white wine. Bring it to a boil and simmer about 3 minutes
  • Carefully add the mussels, making sure you don’t add any water to the pot, and more importantly, don’t splash yourself with the hot liquid
  • Cover and cook for one minute. Using a large spoon, turn the mussels over from the bottom of the pot making sure you get some of the cooking liquid over all the mussels.
  • Cover and cook 2 to 4 minutes more, stirring once again.
  • At this point, the mussels should all have opened. Remove the pot from the heat and serve.

We served the mussels in bowls with a crusty Italian bread and butter. If you wanted you could add a small salad on the side.


There are lots and lots of recipes available for mussels. You can add marinara sauce or fresh tomatoes to the wine, or a pinch of saffron, or a little vegetable broth, or carrots and celery diced to help flavor the broth, or bay leaves…. This version is simple, quick and delicious and perfect for a night when we just wanted to enjoy a lazy night together.

Again, wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!!





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