A Quick Trick for Making Plumper Mussels

A Quick Trick for Making Plumper Mussels

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Ariel Knutson
Sep 24, 2014
A tour of seafood
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

Culinary School: Week 12 (of 12 weeks)
Last Week's Diary: Sometimes Making Your Own Puff Pastry Is Worth It

On my very last day of culinary school we focused on seafood: a feast of scallops, lobster, oysters, clams, and mussels. It was incredible way to end the class. Seafood is an entirely different beast than anything we had worked with before. You can eat things raw (and live!), or quickly fried, or slowly simmered (lobster bisque took forever).

This week our chef taught us a simple trick to easily plump mussels before cooking them – have you tried this at home?

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

A Tip for Plumper Mussels

A half hour before cooking your mussels, put them in a basin of water with a good amount of flour. The water helps release any sediment or dirt the mussels are still holding on to. You add the flour to the water because mussels naturally filter the water they inhabit and they consume the flour and become plumper. How neat is that?

Have you ever tried this trick before? I have yet to try this at home, but my instructor swore by the process.

Look Ma, I graduated!
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

Here's What We Made in Culinary School This Week

This week was my last week of culinary school. We only had one class this week, and we went out with a bang. For the last class we focused on seafood. One of my classmates made a delicious creme brûlée and we sipped on sparkling wine to finish the evening. It could not have been more perfect.

Seared scallops with parsley coulis
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)
Mussels in a white wine and cream sauce
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)
Lobster!
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)
Crustacean sauce with tomato, brandy, and tarragon
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)
Clams and oysters
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)
Shrimp, scallops, clams, lobster
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)
Creme brûlée (Spanish style)
(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

Next week I'll share the top 10 things I learned from culinary school – stay tuned!

After dreaming about culinary school for the last five years, I finally signed up for a course this summer at the International Culinary Center in New York. The course, "Culinary Techniques," is a three month class that meets two nights a week, and focuses on classic culinary traditions and methods like knife skills, stock-making, classic recipes, and some pastry.

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