As Valentine’s Day rolls around and as couples rush to find the perfect restaurant to go to, I’m always exhausted at the prospect of deciding where to go for a night on the town. Even before we had our son, my husband and I started a tradition of making a surf and turf meal at home. This year, I’ll be making mussels in a white wine sauce and pairing it with a seared steak or other “turf” of our choosing.
I love making surf and turf because generally they are both pretty simple and more importantly, can be made quickly after kids go to bed!
Here’s how I made the mussels: I cleaned them by running them under water and pulling off any of the hairy beards sticking out the side (see picture). If there are any cracked mussels, throw them out. Same goes with any mussels that are open and stay open when you tap them or knock on their shells.
One extra step I took is to let them sit covered in water with about a tablespoon of flour on the bottom of the bowl for about 5 minutes. The mussels will open up to eat the flour and spit out sand in the process. I minced up 3 shallots, 5 cloves of garlic, and 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
**Pro tip: Pull leaves from top to bottom to remove from stem**
Strain the mussels and set aside.
In a large pot, I heated up about 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, and once hot, added the shallots and garlic. Sauté until the shallots are translucent. Add a large pinch of red pepper flakes and remember to salt and pepper as you go. Add in a cup of white wine and bring to a simmer. Add in the mussels and cover the pot, lowering the heat to a simmer. Cook 5-7 minutes, until all the mussels are open. If any remain closed, toss them out. Pair the mussels with a nice seared steak and voila: Valentine’s dinner!
1 lb. mussels
5 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 cup white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste