Seafood can be difficult to cook sometimes, but here's a simple recipe that will help you impress your friends.
I learned this from one of my college friends. He cooked it for us one winter when mussels were cheap and plentiful in Pittsburgh. Now it's one of my go-to mussel recipes when these molluscs are in season. The recipe is simple, the prep is easy, and the ingredients are easy to come by. As an addition, it looks really fancy, so you can really impress that special someone. :)
First, soak your mussels in water. Remember to salt the water if your mussels are the salt water species (most are). This will help them cough up any sand they ingested.
After you've soaked your mussels for an hour or two, get ready to cook. Mince the parsley, onion, garlic, leeks, shallots, and scallions, and combine them in a large bowl.
Now, we're all ready to go. Cooking is pretty straight forward. First, get a large pot that can fit all of your ingredients. Then, put in about a 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, and heat it up until it melts. Move it around the bottom of the pan so the bottom of the pan is covered. Proceed to add in the vegetable mix and sweat the vegetables. Add some salt to help the process along.
After sweating the vegetables, add in about a cup of white wine and the mussels. Stir the mussels around so the are immersed in the vegetables and the white wine. You can proceed to add some seasoning at this point. I like to add additional salt to taste and perhaps a bit of ground coriander. Let the pot heat up and start to boil and put a lid on it. Now, let it steam for about 10-15 minutes, when the mussels start to open. Add in another tablespoon of butter and some olive oil. Give the mussels one last good stir, and tadaa! Your food is ready.
Pour your mussels and broth into a large bowl. Cut a few slices of bread. Pour yourself a glass of white wine, and enjoy.
If you have leftover mussels or sauce, I recommend keeping it for future meals. The seafood broth works wonderfully with some fresh pasta.