Freshwater mussels have long been the ingredients of some of the most delicious seafood dishes. They are best purchased fresh from a fish market or from the fish section of your supermarket. People all over the world use them in different ways. Three European countries Belgium, the Netherlands and France serve their mussels with French fries or have bread with them. Mussels are great when served with fresh herbs and vegetables in a butter and white wine stock as they do in Belgium. You can just as well simply take your fresh mussels and place them in a steamer with a fragrant broth and white wine liquid and steam them until they open up. Then serve them alongside melted butter or dip them in the same liquid.
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In the Netherlands, they like to fry their mussels coating them in batter or breadcrumbs and you can get mussels ready-made this way at take-out food places. Mussel bakes are popular on the beaches of the Bay of Biscay in France. If you’re into having your seafood like mussels made as simply as possible then do it as the Spanish do. Just steam them in boiling white wine, onions and herbs and serve them along with this liquid as well as some lemon. They can also be used in different kinds of dishes and served on a bed of rice or pasta. One great way to have mussels is to steam them open and take them from their shells. Then prepare a tomato sauce with crushed garlic and herbs. Combine with the mussels and serve over pasta like spaghetti.
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Having mussels with pasta is a popular way to serve them in Italy. Overall mussels are versatile so they can be steamed, boiled, smoked, barbequed, roasted or fried. Either way, mussels are also a great source of selenium and vitamin B12 as well as zinc and foliate. My favorite way to enjoy mussels is to steam open fresh mussels over a liquid of white wine and some bouillon with herbs. Once the mussels have opened up you’ll place the mussels in their shells over a bed of angel hair pasta. Over this, you will pour the sauce which you’ll have made of the white wine and bouillon mixture in which you steamed the mussels and add to it crushed tomatoes and several cloves of crushed garlic. Taste for salt and freshly ground pepper. This can be served with some hot prepared garlic bread. Along with a bottle of white wine, this is a meal to really be enjoyed.