If you like mussels, I guarantee that you will love these! They are simple to make, and pack a lot of flavor. I'm a little crazy about this recipe. They are a fantastic appetizer, double or triple the recipe and they would be an impressive addition to a holiday buffet or, if you are like me, you'll eat them as a main course with a salad and a crispy baguette to sop up the sauce.
I've played with this recipe for quite a while. I've learned a few things that I'd like to share before we start cooking. First, buy the freshest mussels you can find. If fresh local mussels aren't in season, I buy Prince Edward Island mussels from someplace like Whole Foods, where they label the bag of mussels with a harvest date. This recipe calls for a lot of shallots. I've substituted onion when I forgot to buy shallots. I have to say, the flavor that the shallots give the sauce is superior; go for the shallots and only use fresh flat-leaf parsley. If I have fresh homemade tomato sauce or frozen sauce, I use that. If I don't have any homemade sauce on hand, I use a good jarred sauce. You only need a little so I like to use something like "Vincent's Original Sauce". Lastly, use a dry white wine like a pinot grigio. Even a semi- sweet wine will ruin this dish. Oh, and if you are not mollusk savvy, you can refer to my note about clams in this post. The same goes for mussels. Be sure to discard any that do not open during the cooking process as well.