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Baked Mussels with Cheese, Garlic and Butter (Trial and Recipe)

Monday, June 9, 2014


I may not have muscle, but at least I have mussel!

It's that time of the year. Any Pinoy in the Philippines will need to eat baked tahong, or mussel, at least at one point of the year. Since the cravings were already too strong, I decided to do something about the boxed mussels I recently got from S&R Membership. These KONO mussels are really good, they're really fat, and the aroma is well kept even if it's a frozen set of mussels. I put the box of mussles in our freezer and came back to a fragrant, mussel-smelling freezer. A mussel-smelling freezer is sooo much better than a meat blood-smelling freezer. So yeah, I'm about to share some of the photos. 

It's 350 pesos per Kg, but I think that the deal's already good enough as the mussels are New Zealand mussels and they're already in the half shell, barnacle and sand free. 

Gah even just seeing the box already makes me very happy!

Upon opening, this is what the mussels look like. They're sealed inside a plastic bag, not arranged in a tray as some other brands do. 



Inside the bag are these beautiful, plump, and happy looking mussles. (or maybe I'm just the happy one) 



I couldn't find our smaller grated so I used this one with giant holes. It's actually a bit more convenient since the cheese gets grated faster, and that less cheese sticks to the grater. 



This is the cheese I used. It's a mixture of grated Ques-O processed cheese, Quikmelt cheese, and some sharp cheddar cheese. 

These are the mussels with the chopped garlic on top. 

And a special mention goes to this exceptionally fat mussel. 
  

These are the mussels with cheese added in. 

Since the cheese was in excess, I set up another tray and put in more mussels. 



As a finalizing step, I melted half of this stick of butter and drizzled the melted butter over the mussels. 

These are the mussels with the butter. Not visible, yeah, but oh well, I took a photo anyways. 

And these are the mussels in the middle of baking. The great thing about buying frozen mussels is that the mussels, more often than not, are already blast cooked before being blast frozen, meaning that I need not fuss over pre boiling the mussels. I can also go for not overcooking the cheese on top of the mussels with no fear that the mussels are undercooked. 


Ta-da! All done! This one seems to be more burnt than the other one, probably due to the kind of metal that this tray is made of. For some reason, everything I put on this tray comes out a bit overcooked compared to the other trays even if both trays I used were subjected to the same heat and same duration of heating. I dunno now. 


This is the other tray of mussels. 

And of course, from tray, the mussels go straight to the bowl and then straight to my tummy.  #happytummy


No five minutes have passed but the mussels are almost finished, thanks to my two mussel monsters, le brother and le father XD 


Okay, so here comes the recipe part. This recipe is adapted from Overseas Pinoy Cooking. Forgive me if I'm really the type of person who cooks based on estimation. XD 

Pinoy-style Baked Mussels: 

Ingredients:

Mussels (preferably blast frozen ones like KONO mussels, a 1 Kg box of KONO mussels has about 35 mussels) 

Mixture of grated Quikmelt Cheese and Pasteurized Cheese and other tasty cheeses like cheddar or parmesan; amount depends on the number of mussels you have, but the goal is to have approximately 1 tsp of cheese per mussel
 (ratio depends on how you would like the product to taste like, just keep in mind to always have some Quikmelt in the mix so that there would be a sort of gooey factor to it) 

Finely Chopped Garlic (enough such that there would be 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp per mussel) 

Butter (about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup, just for drizzling) 

Directions: 

*Pre heat oven to 350 F* 

1.) Clean the mussels by washing them and removing any unwanted barnacles or impurities. 

2.) Lay the mussels on a tray, most ideal if tray is lined with wax paper for easy clean up. 

3.) Add finely chopped garlic onto each mussel. 

4.) Generously sprinkle cheese over each mussel, such that there is 1 tsp of cheese per mussel. If desired, you can go for 2 teaspoons of cheese per mussel. 

5.) Melt butter and drizzle over mussels. 

6.) Bake the mussels for 20 minutes or until desired cheese melting/ burnt-ness is achieved. 

7.) Eat like a glutton. Enjoy! 

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