Broiled Mussels Rockefeller

Mussels Rockafeller

This is a heavily updated version of a recipe for broiled mussels with herb butter that I wrote about some months ago.  The fact that I’d written about it before should not detract from the glory of this recipe – in fact, it should add to it.  Because only truly delicious things are worth coming back to – and I always tinker.  And besides, now I have a better camera and can take better photos, which make it all the more worth writing about this again.

In addition, having done some more research, I have brought the recipe closer to its original inspiration (Oysters Rockefeller), made it even easier, and actually further improved on the taste, at least in my view.  Or mouth.  Or both.

The recipe uses the same deep-frozen New Zealand Greenshell mussels as the previously-done one, and they perform admirably quick-defrosted via the bag-in-cool-water method.  In fact, the entire prep takes very little time, as does the cooking – I think the styling and photography for this entry took more time than the actual cooking.

So what do you need for 2 mussel-starved souls?

  • 12-16 large NZ greenshell mussels on half shell (we buy ours loose from a scoop freezer at the supermarket, so I shamelessly pick the hugest ones I can see and we find 12 of those monsters are enough)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons spreadable butter or regular salted butter (let latter sit out of the fridge for a few minutes so it’s not rock-hard)
  • 3 tablespoons assorted frozen herbs.  (You can buy those prepared in baggies and boxes, but in my case it was open the freezer and see what bags and boxes of herbs I’ve stashed there – I always freeze my excess herbs.  So this was about a tablespoon of flat-leaf parsley, tablespoon of chives and green onions, and a tablespoon of herbes de provence mix scraped out of the bottom of one of those bought boxes.)
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • A pinch or so of sea salt to taste (be careful with this, if butter is salted, it may not be necessary at all)
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs (slightly heaping is ok)
  • Some assorted salad greens, a sliced orange or pear or some grapes to serve.

What to do?

  • Defrost your mussels.
  • Set oven to preheat to 220°C and line a baking dish or roasting pan with some foil.  Mussels don’t stick, this is purely to minimize the mess and subsequent cleanup.
  • Add herbs, chili, salt (if using), garlic granules to a mini-chopper and blitz to smithereens.  Add butter (spreadable or softened) and blitz again till mixture resembles crumbs in texture.  Add breadcrumbs and blitz yet again till mixed in.

  • Lay the mussels out on the sheet and using a butter knife, gently add a bit of herb butter onto the top of each.  If any butter remains, spread it among the mussels (more is better here!).
  • Stick onto a rack towards the top of the oven and bake for 3-4 minutes until butter melts, then swap the setting to grill+fan and allow the mounds of herbs to brown but not burn.  The timing for the latter setting depends heavily on distance from broiler (top grill), and how hot your oven runs – so watch the mussels during that time.

  • While your mussels are baking, prepare your plates – a little bit of dressed greens (I used a drizzle of olive oil and finishing salt on arugula), and some fruit (slices of orange or a crisp pear or some grapes).

  • Take mussels out, plate on prepared plates, and serve immediately.  Green tea or sparkling water with lemon will go very well alongside.

Happy lunching munching!


9 thoughts on “Broiled Mussels Rockefeller

    1. I ador them too – I tend to prepare the small blue ones that are sold shut by steaming them with wine, curry, cream, terragon or whatever else comes to mind – but I think the huge greenshell ones on half-shell really shine with oven treatment!

    1. Did you see the size of those monsters? That’s a restaurant-sized large flat dinner plate! We’d experimented with buying more or less, but when I get the really huge ones, 12 works for us… on the other hand, when it’s the small live blue mussels (the sort sold on ice in a net), bring on a kilogram to share for two!

      … which reminds me, must check the shop again this week for live ones. They are in season again here and it’s blissfully loooooong (water stays cold for a large part of the year here)! I’ll have to do/manage to photograph before scarfing them down and post a fantastic recipe I have for mussels with terragon and aquavit – food of the gods!

  1. Wow, these look amazing!!! Wish my hubby would eat shellfish…I need an excuse to make a batch of these for me alone! Popping over from Ping’s blog :)

    1. Hey!
      There’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying him a steak and making these for yourself, if that’s the way he rolls! :)

      And glad you like my blog! Ping’s stuff is amazing, too! *waves to omnipresent (here-somewhere) Ping*

  2. Greetings and you are in! Thank you for your first submissions to Hope you have many more of your back stock still to be added and even more; hope you make us a habit.

    I have a tutorial on the site that shows the easiest way to get photos and your blog posts up and on…

    Also, we have set up your own personal recipe page showing just the recipes that you submit. An easy way to keep track of the ones you want to re-cook, or a great way to direct people to what you have been cooking. Keep in mind that everything links back to your blog… here’s your personal recipe page.

    1. Steaming and mopping up with bread is a time-honored method that cannot be frowned upon (and isn’t, here). I still need to make (again), photograph (and not just wolf it all down before remembering to!), and post about my favorite cream, terragon and aquavit recipe for steamed mussels. It’s great!

      But, as I think I’ve said before, I love that for the sacks of fresh live tiny black (blue) mussels. The giant NZ monsters are really best broiled with some sort of rich sauce, since they are sold pasteurized.

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