Steamed Mussels with Andouille Sausage

Steamed Mussels and Andouille Sausage: Mussels are wonderful winter seafood when you use lots of garlic and Andouille sausage is added to the pot. Serve with warm crusty bread to soak up the juices.  Select mussels that are closed and have intact shells. If a mussel is slightly open, tap on the shell to see if it closes firmly, otherwise discard. The slight smokiness and spicy heat of the sausage adds depth to the sauce. Bread and a green salad make this dish a light meal for two.

Steamed Mussels with Andouille Sausage

Serves 2-4

  • 2 pounds Prince Edward Island (PEI) mussels (see Note)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 to 2/3 pound raw Andouille-style sausage (see Note)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cup dry, unoaked, tart white wine like Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • — Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • — Lemon juice as needed
  • 2 green onions, green portion thinly cut on the diagonal

Instructions: Just before cooking, soak mussels in clean, cool water for 20 minutes. Remove mussels from water, discard water and any sand. De-beard mussels by removing and discarding any dark, tough fibers that may be along the edge of the shell. Scrub and rinse mussels in fresh water; move mussels to a bowl and reserve.

In a large, deep pan or wok with tight-fitting lid over medium heat, add the oil; add sausage, brown and break up into small pieces, add garlic cloves toward the end of browning.

Increase heat to medium-high; add the wine to the pot and cook briefly – about 5-10 seconds – before adding the mussels. Cover and steam just until all the mussels open, about 2-4 minutes. Discard the garlic and any unopened mussels. Stir in cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon juice if needed for brightness. Garnish with onion and serve immediately.

Note: Larger mussels like New Zealand green-lipped can be used in place of the smaller PEIs, but cooking time might need a slight adjustment. The raw Andouille – which you may need to take out of its casing – can be found at many Whole Foods Markets. Or substitute half mild Italian and half hot Italian sausage cooked with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mild, smoked paprika.

Steamed Mussels with Andouille Sausage