Joy Of Spanish Cooking

Àvia’s Mussels (Grandma’s Mussels)


I’m back from the Bahamas. It was a fantastic and relaxing trip.  The food was good and the cocktails were even better! Can you believe that I had grouper (fish)  for breakfast? It was called Boil Grouper, like a fish soup. I thought it was a little weird, but that is a traditional breakfast there, and it was out of this world.

Speaking of seafood, I have a seafood recipe today and it’s from my grandma. My grandma (àvia in catalan) is always on my mind whenever I cook something. So of course, I am stealing her recipe. You can make this in less than 30 minutes. Isn’t it worth it? It is for me!

I love the broth that this recipe produces It’s so good, that I have to have some bread on hand for dipping. Spaniards in general eat a lot of bread. It’s like it were a part of the utensils:) The restaurants there will usually serve bread with olive oil (no butter for us!) I guess that’s why I like to go to Italian restaurants here in the U.S. because they normally serve extra-virgin olive oil. Oh! Speaking of restaurants, did you know that you have to pay for water in Spain?! Weird for the Americans, huh? Sometimes a glass of wine is cheaper than water…

Ok, let’s get back to the mussels. Sometimes I can go off on a tangent, the same way I talk. I talk a lot! This comes from my family. We talk a lot, and since we are a big family, we don’t know what the word a quiet conversation is, so we YELL! (Or talk very loudly. It is an animated conversation to say the least.)

Ingredients: (serves 2-4)

– 2 lbs  (1 kg) mussels

– olive oil

– salt and pepper

– water

The process is super easy and it takes about 20-30 minutes. Rinse the mussels, and scrub as necessary. You should also check for the ones that are already dead. The ones that won’t close on their own are probably dead, and should be discarded. Debeard the mussels, you don’t want any of the mussel beard in your mouth.

Once the mussels have been cleaned, place them into a large pot with a 1/4 cup of water on medium high heat. You don’t need to add much water to steam them, as the mussels are filled with their own water. Adding a little will give you more broth, which is a good thing. They should open in about 5 minutes. That is how you know they are cooked. When they are done, KEEP THE BROTH!

(This next step is optional. I like to eat the mussels on the half-shell. That is typically how we do it in Spain. Basically, just separate the two halves and discard the shell without the mussel attached. You also eat it with your hands there, not with a fork as is common here.)

Place the leftover broth remaining in the pan into a container or bowl. I use a strainer when I pour the broth to remove shells or sediment. To this, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, some salt and pepper and stir it.

Place the mussels in a pan and cook on medium heat. Pour the broth on top. Let them marinate for a few minutes and the mussels are ready!

Have that bread handy for dipping, you will need it!

Bon profit!!


3 thoughts on “Àvia’s Mussels (Grandma’s Mussels)”

  1. Your trip to the Bahamas sounds lovely! I’m certain that I’d enjoy the grouper that you had for breakfast. I’m not a big fan of American breakfast foods, so I already eat leftovers from other meals quite frequently in the morning. Another thing we tend to take for granted (besides free water) in the US is the number of public restrooms. That’s always one of the biggest shocks to me when I travel.

    Your soup looks delicious as well. I’m sure all the fiesta goers will appreciate the depth of flavor in this broth. Happy FF, and I hope you had a fabulous week. 😀

Comments are closed.

Àvia’s Mussels (Grandma’s Mussels)

by Ivette time to read: 2 min
%d bloggers like this: