The Perfect Summer Bite: Stuffed Mussels Casino

Fri, 06/17/2022 - 12:00pm

My family loves mussels and I have a myriad of recipes for steamed preparations on my blog from curry to spicy sriracha to puttanesca, but this one is a little different. I stopped at the Ferry Wharf Fish Market, right off the ferry in Narragansett on my most recent trip to the island and they had beautiful mussels, but they were very large in size – about 3 inches in length – perfect for ‘stuffing’! I created a riff on clams casino, topping them with a stuffing loaded with garlic and bacon and they were devoured in minutes. The perfect bite on a summer night!

Stuffed Mussels Casino
4 pounds large mussels, about 3 inches in length (about 25 to 30 mussels)
1 cup dry white wine
6 slices raw bacon, chopped into small pieces
6 tablespoons butter
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, stemmed
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)

Scrub the mussels under cold running water to remove any debris and pull off any ‘beards’ from the sides of the mussels. Place them in a large deep skillet in a single layer. Pour the wine over the mussels. Cover the pan and steam until the mussels open (do not overcook). Note: you may want to slightly vent the lid, so the mussels do not boil over. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth and set aside.
Preheat your oven to broil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove the top shell and discard. Leave the mussel meat in the bottom shell but loosen it so it will come out easily. Place the shells with the meat in them on the baking sheet.
Cook the chopped bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it is crisp. Add the butter and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until they are lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the Parmesan cheese, thyme, lemon zest, and juice to the pan. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring, until well combined. Stir in 1 cup of the reserved stock.
Spoon the stuffing mixture on top of each mussel to fill the shell.
Place the mussels on the top rack in the oven about 6 to 8 inches from the broiler. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes until golden and bubbly. Watch them closely so they do not burn. Broilers vary in heat so adjust your cook time depending on the intensity of your broiler.
Garnish with more lemon and thyme sprigs.
Get hundreds of approachable and simply delicious recipes on Pam’s blog and follow her on FB @dishofftheblock and Instagram @dishblock for new
recipes and tips! You can also get her spice blends on island at Dick’s Fish, the BIG, or The Block Island Trading Company. If you are not on Block Island, order her spices and cookbook on her website and make mealtime deliciously easy!