Saturday, May 17, 2014

Grilled Mussels on the Half Shell

I love mussels. I especially love the mussels sold at Costco. Their mussels are huge and meaty and always incredibly fresh. Plus, you can get a five pound bag of mussels for about four bucks. My favorite way to eat them is to steam them in chardonnay:

Thanks to Jamie Purviance from Weber Grills, I now have a second favorite way to eat mussels. Just throw the mussels on the grill until they open. Yank the top shell away and sprinkle the meat with a little mixture made in heaven: Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, butter, panko bread crumbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss them back on the grill until the cheese melts and you are good to go.

For making this recipe, it's really easy if you have a grill pan like the one pictured above. That way you can slide the mussels on and off the grill with one hand. You can obviously just set the mussels on the grill, but removing the individual shells can be a bit tedious. Also, if you like your mussels a little smoky, toss some mesquite on the coals when you re-heat the mussels in the half shell.


¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano® cheese
2 tablespoons panko
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt

24 large, live mussels, scrubbed and debearded*
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley leaves

*Mussels bought at Costco are already scrubbed and debearded


  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F). 
  2. In a small bowl combine the topping ingredients and blend with a fork. 
  3. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the mussels over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until they open, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer the mussels to a plate. Discard any mussels that have not opened. Preheat the grill pan over direct medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, pull away the top shell, leaving the mussel in the bottom half of the shell. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the topping on top of each mussel. 
  5. Place the mussels in a single layer on the grill pan. Grill over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until the topping is bubbling, 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from the grill and top with the parsley. Serve immediately. 

Wine pairing: A nice oaky Chardonnay.

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