When our local Harris Teeter first opened up this Summer, one of the first things that I purchased was a box of frozen mussels. They were unshelled, fully cooked, and the right price. The first time I had mussels was at a restaurant in Wilmington, NC, when hubs and I were celebrating our anniversary a few years ago. The mussels were in a huge pot of steamed seafood. I was quite a bit intimidated at trying them, but I did and found that I enjoyed the flavor. I hadn't seen any at the grocery store until that first trip to H.T., so I thought that I'd give them a try at home. I didn't have the foggiest clue how to make them, so the mussels sat in my freezer eve since I bought them.
But this week, I vowed to give them a try. I scoured the Internet, looking for recipes and ideas. There were lots of recipes, but none that "spoke" to me. I decided to make a soup, using some of the ingredients that I found in a recipe for Cioppino on Allrecipes.com.
The verdict? Hubs and I LOVED it! I thought it was perfectly flavored and was really surprised at just how well it tasted. As for the kids? Well, not so much. All three refused to take a single bite. My oldest daughter said that it looked like there were eyeballs in her soup (referring to the mussels). Note to self: next time just make popcorn shrimp for the kids! :)
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz ea) stewed tomatoes
2 cans (14.5 oz ea) chicken broth
1 can-ful of water
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
8 oz fully cooked, shells removed mussels
8 oz crabmeat (I used imitation, I admit it)
Melt butter in 6-qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute' until translucent; stir occasionally. Stir in tomatoes and chicken broth. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in mussels and crabmet. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat gain to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes more.
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