Muscles or Mussels?


I climbed for the first time in ages this past Saturday.

When you’ve gone a long time without climbing and when you have had 9 months of baking a baby in your belly your muscles just aren’t the same.


And that is ok 🙂

In honor of my sore muscles, here is one of mine and Mark’s favorite recipes.

(This was a post I wrote soon after we got married back in 2011)


Mussels with Shallots & Cherry Tomatoes


2 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups dry, white wine

1/4 cup heavy cream

6 Tablespoons butter

A few sprigs of thyme

2 dried bay leaves

Handful of Parsley


Before you chop up anything, you’ll want to clean up those mussels and get them ready for cooking! In Texas, most of the mussels you buy at HEB will be farm-raised and clean, and the mollusk will already be debearded. If there is still a mollusk on the mussel then you will have to debeard it and then scrub down each mussel with a vegetable brush.

After they are all cleaned and debearded, you’ll want to go through each mussel to see if it’s still alive and kickin. If the mussel is closed then it’s good to go. If the mussel is open, give it a little love tap on the side of the bowl. If it stays open then it is no longer alive and you can trash it. If it begins to close then you’re good!

Once you have all of the mussels cleaned and sorted out put them in a bowl and put a damp cloth over it. You can store them in your fridge for up to two days or you can use them right away.


{What to Do}

 Once you have the ingredients you will want to prep them all. I like to put everything in little bowls to make it easier for cooking.

Bowl # 1 — Dice the 2 shallots and mince the garlic.

Bowl # 2 — Make sure the cherry tomatoes are halved and put em in. Place chopped thyme sprigs and bay leaves in this bowl as well.

 Bowl # 3 — Measure out 2 cups of Chardonnay.

 Bowl # 4 — Measure out a 1/4 cup of Heavy Cream.

Bowl # 5 — Handful of chopped parsley.

Step 1.

 Put 4 tablespoons of butter in a dutch oven or BIG pot over medium heat. Add Bowl # 1 (shallots and garlic) and cook for about 3 minutes.

Step 2.

 Throw in Bowl # 2 and Bowl # 3 (tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, chardonnay).

Put the burner on high and heat it up until boiling.


Step 3.

Add the mussels and cover the pan! Cook for around 5 minutes until the mussels open up. Use a spoon to move the mussels over to a large bowl. Sprinkle on half of the parsley you have.

Step 4.

With the juices still in the pan, discard the bay leaves and the thyme. Place the pot on heat and pour in Bowl # 4 (cream) and the rest of the parsley. Cook that until it gets a bit thick and then throw in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir and then pour over the mussels!

Step 5.

We enjoy ladling it into bowls and serving it with lots of crusty bread to soak up the juices.


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