11/02/2011 04:00 pm ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Steam Mussels

Chef Howard Clark from The Culinary Institute of America demonstrates how easy it is to steam fresh mussels. He starts by heating a stainless-steel pan, then adds a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and chopped shallot for flavor. He adds mussels, along with chopped fresh rosemary, and then pours a touch of white wine into the pan. It's the steam from the wine that will coax the mussels open. He covers the pan to build up steam, then checks the mussels in a few minutes. When the mussels are wide open, they're finished -- you don't want to overcook them, or they'll get tough. He removes the mussels, and serves them with the broth from the pan.

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Clark from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to steam mussels.

Today we're going to steam mussels. The first thing I need to do is get a little bit of heat in my pan, and we're going to put just a little bit of oil - this is extra virgin olive oil - and we're going to add just a little bit of shallot. We're going to keep the pan moving. We're going to add our mussels, some chopped fresh rosemary, a touch of white wine - and, of course, cover. When I cover, we're building steam up in the pan.

We'll remove this cover just to check to see how close we are. Ah, you'll notice the vast majority of them are pretty wide open. i'm going to give it another, oh, thirty seconds or so.

Okay, as we remove the lid, we notice that they are wide open, which is of course a sign of doneness. You do not want the mussels to overcook, as with any seafood, so: wide open. We will remove the mussels with just a little bit of the herb, and the unthickened broth.

Now, steaming mussels is really a kitchen basic. It's very simple, and the flavor, presentation, and guest appeal is phenomenal.

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