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Mussels are mollusks, similar to oysters, and are comprised of two hinged shells with a soft inner body. These mollusks are filter feeders and take in water through their shells to get the nutrients they need as well as to clean the water. Like other types of seafood, mussels are low in calories and fat, a good source of protein and rich in many vital nutrients your body needs for good health.
They are the easiest to prepare.
When cooking frozen mussels, the preparation may depend on whether the mussels were frozen with or without the shells. If you have time, thaw the sealed package in your fridge for 24r before using them.
If your frozen mussels are still in the shell, you can steam them in a pot filled with one inch of water, wine, or broth for five to seven minutes or until the mussel shells have opened. You can also saute them in oil or butter over high heat. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.
With shelled mussels, remove the beard — the membrane in the mussels that holds sand and grit — before serving. You can remove the beard with your fingers or a knife.
You can make great stuffed mussels or delicious pasta dishes.
You can use frozen mussel meat in any of your usual mussel recipes. These shellfish are very flavorful and work well with pasta dishes. Consider adding the cooked mussel meat (with or without the shell) in tomato sauce before tossing with pasta. You can also steam the frozen mussels in the shell with the sauce to add some of the briny flavors.
For a simple mussel pasta dish, saute oil and garlic in a pan over medium-high heat until the garlic has browned, then add your mussel meat to the pan and continue cooking until the meat has warmed through. Toss the mussel garlic sauce with cooked pasta. Be sure to reserve some of your pasta cooking water to add more depth to your mussel pasta sauce. The starch in the pasta water helps thicken the sauce and adds a little more flavor.
You can also use frozen mussel meat to make stuffed mussels. Chop the cooked mussel meat and mix with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper and then stuff the mussel meat mixture back into the shells. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.