Paired with some crusty bread and a simple salad, mussels make a lovely light meal. But getting them perfectly cooked can be tricky, with most stovetop recipes inevitably turning out some overcooked and some undercooked mussels. We made cooking mussels absolutely foolproof by using our multicooker, which evenly surrounded the mussels with steam and resulted in a pot full of tender, plump mussels every time. On the pressure setting, we needed to cook the mussels for just 1 minute; on the slow cook setting (which heats up much faster than a traditional slow cooker) the mussels were cooked perfectly within half an hour. To infuse the mussels with lots of flavor, we sautéed garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes in butter, and used wine as the cooking liquid. We finished the mussels with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. You can substitute 3 pounds of littleneck clams for the mussels; increase the pressure cooking time to 2 minutes. Discard any raw mussels with an unpleasant odor or with a cracked or broken shell or a shell that won’t close. Serve with crusty bread.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 Using highest sauté or browning function, melt butter in multicooker. Add garlic, thyme sprigs, salt, pepper flakes, and bay leaves and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in mussels and wine.
2A to pressure cook Lock lid in place and close pressure release valve. Select high pressure cook function and cook for 1 minute. Turn off multicooker and quick-release pressure. Carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
2B to slow cook Lock lid in place and open pressure release valve. Select low slow cook function and cook until mussels open, 15 to 20 minutes. (If using Instant Pot, select high slow cook function.) Turn off multicooker and carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
3 Discard thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and any mussels that have not opened. Stir in parsley and transfer to large serving bowl. Serve.
Recipe excerpted from the forthcoming book Multicooker Perfection by America's Test Kitchen. Copyright 2018.
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