I thought this recipe was really good and has great potential. I stuck to it as much as possible this time through b/c I wanted to see what the author had in mind. I tasted as I went and in the end, I had to add double the salt and pepper to keep everything from being too bland. I did have to cook the potatoes/fennel for 5 extra minutes, as mine were also too crunchy in the middle. Next time I may see how they do at 3 extra minutes since they continue to cook once the beer is added. The green beans don't add flavor, but they add a nice, crisp freshness to the dish. Plus it's a good way of getting a green vegetable in the meal! What I would change next time: Instead of bacon, use chorizo. It would give it that extra flavor and seasoning that was needed. I will also try it with wine instead of beer. Not that I disliked the beer...it just left me wanting a deeper flavor. I think the wine and chorizo would be a great combination together. Will definitely make again! Very versatile!
Mussels Steamed with Bacon, Beer, and Fennel
You may not think of seafood as budget-friendly, but mussels certainly are. If you can't find a 16-ounce beer (a "tall boy"), you can use a 12-ounce beer plus 1/2 cup broth or water. If there's wiggle room in your budget, pick up some crusty bread to dunk into the beer broth.
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Total: 25 Minutes
- Calories: 237
- Fat: 7g
- Saturated fat: 2.2g
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.9g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g
- Protein: 18g
- Carbohydrate: 23.3g
- Fiber: 3.8g
- Cholesterol: 38mg
- Iron: 5mg
- Sodium: 665mg
- Calcium: 73mg
- 1 (12-ounce) fennel bulb with stalks
- 1 1/2 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
- 10 ounce red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (16-ounce) can beer
- 1 1/2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded (about 40)
- 4 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/3-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1. Trim tough outer leaves from fennel; mince feathery fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Remove and discard stalks. Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise, and discard core. Vertically slice bulb.
- 2. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat for 3 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently. Add fennel bulb, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook 10 minutes or until fennel is lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to high. Add beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil. Stir in mussels and green beans; cover and cook 4 minutes or until mussels open. Discard any unopened shells. Stir in juice. Divide mussel mixture evenly among 4 bowls, and spoon broth evenly over mussels. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fennel fronds.
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