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Sea mussels are as agreeable to the taste as oysters, and may be eaten when oysters are out of season. Canned mussels are obtainable nearly everywhere. When fresh mussels are used, the shells may be opened by steaming, or with a knife. The horny "beard" must be removed and discarded.
30 mussels in the shell
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
Wash the shell with a brush in cold water, and open by steaming. Remove the mussels from the shells, place them in a saucepan, add the butter, salt and pepper, cayenne, and a dash of lemon-juice. Mix the flour with an equal quantity of cold water and rub out all the lumps, then add more water to make it about as thick as rich cream. Pour in a thin stream into the hot mixture, stirring constantly. As soon as the boiling- point is reached, remove from the fire and serve. Mussels, like oysters and clams, are made tough by over-cooking.
Stewed Mussels
Take about five dozen good sized mussels, clean and then boil them until shells open. Put very little water on when boiling them, for when they are heated they let out plenty of juice themselves. When they are cooked take from shell and pick over. Put in a saucepan a piece of butter and some onions ; fry until brown and add the mussels, a can of tomatoes and two cupfuls of the juice and stew all together for about fifteen mimites. Salt and pepper to taste, and lastly thicken the gravy with some Sperry flour dissolved in cold water.
Fried Mussels.
Pick some mussels out of their" shells : remove their beards, dip them in milk, cover with breadcrumbs well seasoned with salt and pepper, and fry in a fryingpan until they are of a light brown color, place them on a dish in a warm place, pour a little of their liquor in a pan, add a little pepper and salt, if required, and sprinkle in a few breadcrumbs, and then add a little butter. When it is quite hot pour it over the mussels and serve at once. The mussels may be previously pickled, but it is not necessary.
Mussels in Shells.
Procure some small mussels, they being the most delicate, scrape the shells and wash them in several waters, to remove all the grit. Put the mussels in a stewpan with one sliced onion, a small bunch of parsley, and one pint of French white wine ; season with pepper and salt, stand the pan over the fire till the shells open, when the mussels will be done. Take them cut of their shells, clean thoroughly, and cut them into halves ; strain the cooking liquor of the mussels into another saucepan, mix with it an equal quantity of veloute sauce, and boil until reduced to about half of its original quantity. Thicken the sauce with a lump of butter or a liaison of two yolks of eggs, stirring by the side of the fire and not allowing it to boil after the eggs are added ; put the mussels in the sauce with one tablespoonful of chopped parsley. Fill some silver shells with the above mixture, cover with finely grated breadcrumbs, put a small bit of butter on the top of each, and brown in the oven ; when cooked, arrange the shells on an ornamental dish paper or a folded napkin that has been placed on a hot dish, garnish with neat sprigs of fried parsley, arranging it here and there between the shells, and serve.
Mussels, Matelote.
Wash and clean some mussels, put them into a saucepan over a clear fire, and toss or hustle them until the shells open. Turn the mussels into a colander placed over a pan, so as to save all their liquor, and remove the half shells, beards, etc. ; put two tablespoonfuls of chopped shallots and a clove of garlic into a saucepan with a little butter, and fry without letting them take color ; put in the mussels, pour over one wineglassful of wine and the mussel liquor, place the pan over the fire, boil for a few minutes, thicken with a piece of butter kneaded with finely minced breadcrumbs, parsley and a little cayenne, and toss the pan for a little while longer until all the butter is melted. Put them in a metal dish, pour over the liquor, stand in another dish, garnish with fried parsley, and serve very hot.
Mussels, Poulette Style.
Take some mussels that have been hustled or plainly cooked, remove the half shell that does not contain the fish, take off the beard and weed, remove any young crabs there may be, and put them on a dish either piled up or packed closely together. In the meantime prepare a little melted butter, made with the mussel liquor instead of water and a good quantity of butter, and sprinkle over a little pepper and sufficient vinegar to give it a sharp taste ; make this mixture hot, pour it over the mussels and serve at once. Nutmeg, mace, or chopped parsley and chives may be added to the sauce if desired to heighten the flavor.
Scalloped Mussels.
Put some mussels into a saucepan and toss them over a quick fire for a few minutes until the meat will come away easily from the shells. Take out the beards, weeds, etc., remove the fish from their shells, squeeze all the liquor out of them, and add to it that which came from them while being cooked : strain it into a sauce- pan, put in the mussels and warm them up, adding a little flour, butter, grated nutmeg and pepper ; care must be taken not to let them boil and not to use any salt, as they generally contain sufficient. Clean some scallop shells, cover them with breadcrumbs, put a layer of the mussels over it, then another layer of breadcrumbs and another of mussels ; moisten them with a few tablespoonfuls of the liquor, put a layer of crumbs on top, place on it a few pieces of butter, scatter over a little dried parsley, and put them in an oven to cook until they are a bright brown. They may be browned in a salamander instead of the oven, if desired, and must be served hot.
Stewed Mussels, Mariniere.
Steam three dozen mussels in a saucepan for about ten minutes, without any water. Take them out, remove half of their shells, put them into a saucepan with two ounces of fresh butter, a small quantity of chives and finely-chopped chervil, a very little pepper and a teacupful of finely-sifted breadcrumbs ; pour over one-half breakfast cupful of water and boil for two minutes longer. Turn the whole into a dish, squeeze over the juice of one-half of a lemon, and serve. The mussels should be arranged in the dish with the half shells downwards. Garnish with parsley and quarters of lemons.
Mussels, Villeroy.
Wash and thoroughly cleanse some mussels, changing the water five or six times, if necessary, and remove the sinewy strings that are to be found inside, put them into a saucepan, pour over a wineglassful of white wine, toss them over a fire until the shells open, then turn them into a colander over a pan and let them drain. Pull them out of their shells, and when they are cool dip them into a little villeroy sauce ; arrange on a baking sheet, and when the sauce has cooled sprinkle them over with breadcrumbs, repeating it to have them thoroughly covered. Plunge them into a fryingpan of boiling fat, fry to a light brown color, then take them out, drain, put them on a napkin on a dish, and serve with a garnish of fried parsley.

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