Barton Seaver: Hi! I am Barton Seaver. Today, we are going to be cooking mussels. This is one of my favorite recipes, Mussels Saint-Ex. I used to -- my first chef job was at a restaurant called Caf Saint-Ex and this is one of the first dishes that I put on the menu. It was very popular and one of my favorite things to eat. But let's first talk a little bit about mussels though, Blue Ocean Institute lists mussels as one of their green list species. It's very, very sustainable.
Most mussels are farm-raised and I think it's actually our patriotic duty to eat more farmed shell fish like clams, oysters and mussels. Not only do they provide easy sources of protein for us, they provide a living for people who live on the coast as well as they provide a great deal of filtration for the water, and actually cleaning our waterways as we get protein from them. Really, really awesome stuff. So as you see here, I have got two bowls. In the bottom bowl, I have got some ice and in the top bowl, we have our mussels. Mussels came in one pound package. Now when you go to purchase mussels, you always look for -- ask the seller for the product tag. That will tell you when it was harvested and where it was harvested, but you can always also tell the freshness of mussels by the number of them that are open. What you want to look for is a nice, tight shell, nice and clean. They don't have any of the -- what's known as the beard or the byssals attached to them, which is an indigestible, fibrous thing that the mussels use to attach themselves to the ropes.
Now when you are looking mussels, you will see that some of them sometimes, they are a little bit open. That's a bad thing because that means the mussel has died. Now if the mussel is open, you can check it though by banging it and if it closes, you have woken the mussel up and it has just it has come back to life and then cleared up. This is a good example of that beard that I was talking about. It just looks like some sort of fibers of rope. You can just pull that right out by using a little bit of pressure and we are good to go. So we have already passed through all these mussels, they are cleaned up and ready to rock. The best way to store those little things is over a little bit of ice and then you take a wet paper towel, fold that over the top and put the whole thing right into the fridge. Now mussels have a good shelf-life and they last for a couple of days in the refrigerator, but you really will want to eat them as soon as you get them. So now that we have got that going, in the next segment, I am going to show you how to get our Batuta ready for our mussels. It's a spice paste made with onions and garlic, we will start on that in a second.