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BBQ Mussels

May 20, 2012

Mussels on the barbecue are surprisingly good, and if possible, even easier than using a stovetop. I wrap mine in tinfoil. You can only fit maybe one pound to a packet, because you don’t want to stack them very deep. As a result, I will end up doing two or three tin foil packages. What’s great about that is you can flavour each one differently, and serve a variety of tastes. I’ll just give the basics here, and think of cool and easy flavour combinations as the summer continues.

Incidently, this works just fine over an open fire as well. It’s all a matter of finding the right heat–not so hot that you might burn the butter, but you definitely need good heat to cook the mussels.

BBQ Mussels

Prep the mussels (wash, scrub etc.). Lay out a sheet of tinfoil large enough to wrap into a package–maybe a metre long. Put the sparkly side pointing up–yes tin foil has one side that’s shinier, and that will reflect more heat if it’s pointing at your heat source.

Lay a few onion slices in the centre of the tinfoil. Put some sprigs of thyme on top of that, a large pat of butter and a bay leaf. Pile your mussels around that. You want them spread out rather than up, they won’t cook evenly if they’re piled more than a couple high.

I’m of two minds as to whether you need to add liquid this way. But I like the idea of opening a beer, using a little splash for cooking, and then having to find a use for the rest of the bottle. Whatever will we do. So start folding your tinfoil up to make your wrap, then add a glug of beer, then finish the wrap. You want a fairly good seal so they steam themselves (they’ll release their own liquid to go with the beer). You don’t want it wrapped SO tight the mussels can’t open, although that would be a pretty insane wrapping job for tin foil. Finally, you do want to be able to open and close these as you get toward the end of cooking, so keep these things in mind.

Place your package on the bbq over medium-high heat (or the fire, or whatever). Better to close the lid if you can. It should take about 15 minutes, take a peek after 10 and see how they’re doing. They’re done when all the shells are open, the mussels are plump and they easily come off their shells without the meat pulling apart.

Bon appetit! More bbq recipes as we come up with them. The other one we tried tonight was just a mixture of curry paste and melted butter. That works too.

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