Cooking for Two






Mussels and Beer

from Cooking for Two byJames Barber

2lb/1kg cultured mussels
1 small onion
1 sweet red pepper
2 cloves garlic
a few sprigs of thyme
1tsp/15 mL vegetable oil
3/4 cup/175mL lager beer
1/4 tsp / 1mL salt

Flip a coin to see who gets the job of cleaning the mussels. Whoever loses the toss can rinse the mussels under cold running water to remove any grit and pull out any beards (the stringy bits attached to some of the mussels). Discard any that are not tightly closed. The winner can peel and slice the onion, slice the red pepper, mince the garlic and chop the thyme. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, and cook the onions and peppers until they are soft. Stir in the garlic and thyme, and cook lightly, for only a minute. Stir in the mussels, and pour the beer over top. Pour the rest of the beer into a cold glass to share. Add the salt to the pot, and cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and let the mussels steam for about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened. Watch you don't overcook the mussels or they will be tough and leathery.