Hospitality @ Home: Mmm-Mussels






This is one of my favorite go-to meals to make when it’s a brisk autumn day in LA. And with the amazing team at McCall’s Meat & Fish just up the street, I find myself making this dish almost once a week.

Mussels don’t need to be scary. Especially if the shop you buy them from cleans them for you already.

Beautifully cleaned mussels from Mccall's

To store mussels prior to cooking, rinse in cool water and store in a bowl half filled with ice. Place a damp towel over the top of the bowl. You need to keep the mussels cool, moist, and with good oxygen access. So don’t wrap them up in plastic wrap or otherwise suffocate them.

Eat mussels during cool months, and those containing the letter ‘R’ in their name– September, October, November, etc.

Pair these mussels with plenty of crusty bread and the Autumn Version of the Gent’s Salad.

Mary’s Mussels:

serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as an appetizer

It is fair to note that I love a lot of garlic, and a lot of broth with my mussels. If I’m feeling particularly decadent, I’ll make a batch of french fries to go along with this. In the pursuit of sopping up all that delicious broth, french fries are definitely my weapon of choice. But chunks of crusty baguette are a close second.

1.5 lbs mussels

1 small onion, sliced into shoestrings

8 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp dried basil, oregano, or parsley (or all three, why not?)

4 tbs butter

2 cups chicken stock

3/4 c dry white wine

olive oil

salt & pepper

In a 4 qt dutch oven (or any large pot with a lid), heat one tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Toss in garlic and cook until fragrant. De-glaze the pan with white wine, then add chicken stock and herbs. When the stock comes to a boil, add mussels and give one big stir.

Cover pot and reduce heat to medium. steam Mussels for about 8 minutes, or until they open. Discard any unopened mussels. Finish with final 3 tablespoons of butter. Serve with plenty of broth in a flat bottom bowls.

Gent's Autumn Salad
Kale, Buttermilk Dressing, Tomato, Crouton.....mmmm

Autumn Gent’s Salad:

The Gent very eagerly brought home a bunch of kale a few weeks ago and absolutely hated it. Too bitter for him. It’s one of those greens that is great on paper, but sometimes too overpowering on the palate. So I baked the Kale with some olive oil, salt & pepper for about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven to create Kale chips. They are fantastic on a salad, adding an earthy base note for the brighter elements to play off of.  A creamy buttermilk dressing, the bright bite of tomato, and crunch of a buttery crouton…. you know what you could also add to this? Bacon.

umm…. I’ll be right back….

Mixed Greens


Kale Chips


Buttermilk Dressing

Salad seasoning– we love Salad Elegant from Chicago’s Spice House

Layer ingredients in a flat bowl, finishing with dressing & a sprinkle of Salad Seasoning.

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