Cooking dinner in my apartment in the summer is always a challenge. No matter whether I use the oven or the stove, my studio will remain about ten degrees warmer for the rest of the night. I can only enjoy so many cold suppers, so I have a few favorite dishes for the summer that are studio-apartment friendly. One of those dishes is steamed mussels. The dish can come together in less than half an hour, and the most time consuming part is scrubbing and debearding the mussels. Making the dish does fill my apartment with the aroma of mussels and butter, but that is much more tolerable in my opinion than a hot apartment.
Feel free to experiment with the ingredients in the recipe. As long as you keep the ratios the same, there is an endless number of possibilities. Substitute Belgian beer for the wine, cream for the butter, or add a mix of herbs to the broth. So long as you serve the mussels with a crusty baguette (heated in the toaster oven, not the oven), you'll have an easy and enjoyable meal in the comforts of your cool apartment.
Mussels with White Wine, Pancetta and Shallots
- 2 lbs. mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 2 cups white wine
- 2 large shallots, finely minced
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/8 lb. of pancetta, diced
- 2 tbsp. butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until fat is rendered and pancetta begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
- Add garlic and shallots and cook until shallots are soft, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add wine to pot and bring to a boil.
- Add mussels to pot and cover. Cook until most of the mussels have opened, about 6 minutes. Remove mussels from the pot and set aside in a large serving bowl, discarding any mussels that have not opened.
- Bring liquid in pot to a simmer. Whisk in butter and taste for salt and pepper.
- Pour broth over mussels and serve with a crusty baguette.