A taste of the sea with grilled mussels

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

Sure, I love clams but when it comes to mussels … fahget ’bout it! I adore these succulent, sweet mollusks, especially when they are combined with smoky ham, salty cheese and a spicy … well, spice!

These are great for a picnic or any formal gathering. They crisp up beautifully while retaining the essence of the sea in every bite. For some great side dishes to enjoy with your mussels before the summer is out, go to theyankeechef.com.

Grilled or baked mussels anytime of the year.

Grilled or baked mussels anytime of the year.

1 pound fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
3 ounces cooked, smoked ham of your choice, minced
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup dried bread crumbs, unseasoned
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

Preheat your outdoor grill to medium heat. Meanwhile bring mussels to a boil covered with water and add the minced garlic, until shells open, about 2 minutes. Strain and remove mussel meat from the shells. Wash the shells clean and set aside. Chop mussel meat and add to a bowl with remainder of ingredients, mixing well. Equally divide the mussel mixture into as many halved mussel shells as able.

Carefully place filled shells onto grill grate over indirect heat. Close lid and cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until heated through and the top is starting to crisp. Remove and serve with lemon wedges if desired.

*Find that the day you want to make these is overcast or raining? Simply heat your oven to 425-degrees F and throw mussels on a baking pan. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until crispy on top.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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