Mussels with Apple Cider and Bacon for One

by Kelly on February 7, 2012

Between The Patriots’ appearance in XLVI and my alma mater, Boston University’s, victory in the first round of The Beanpot tonight I’ve been finding myself thinking a bit about Boston lately.  Without a doubt my decision to move to Chicago nearly two years ago was a smart one, but it doesn’t mean I don’t find myself overcome with nostalgia for my home of eight years.

And of course as a foodie, I think about some of my Boston favorites often.  Chicago lobster rolls just don’t compare and it’s been too long since I tucked into a bowl of rich and creamy clam chowder.  And though I love Chicago Deep Dish, occasionally I find myself with a craving for my Charlestown Favorite, Figs‘ pizza.  But mostly I miss mussels.

When I lived in Boston I would order them religiously at every bar and restaurant that carried them.  I remember contentedly tucking into a big bowl of moules frites at Beacon Tavern after an evening of drinking with friends.  I’d use my fries to sop up every last teaspoon of rich broth, often asking for a second or third basket of bread to stretch it out.  But here, I rarely eat them out at restaurants and I never cook them at home.  Almost three years ago I made them as a first course for a romantic Indian-inspired Valentine’s Day meal, and they haven’t reappeared in my kitchen since.

Generally I’ve only seen mussels sold in pre-packaged 2 lb bag, too much for a single girl.  But when I saw them loose at Whole Foods I knew it was time to whip up a batch.  These are entirely different than the Beacon Tavern version, with crisp apple cider serving as the base of the broth flavored by meaty bacon and sweet onions.

But don’t let the ingredient list fool you, the resulting mussels and their broth aren’t overally sweet at all.  Just light and flavorful and a perfect companion for a hunk of crusty bread. And what I especially love is that once the onions are sliced and the parsley chopped it comes together quickly. I love that it is one of those truly special meals that requires minimal effort.

Mussels with Apple Cider and Bacon for One
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 1


-2 bacon slices (I like Black Forest Bacon)
-1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
-1 pinch kosher salt
-1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
-1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
-1/2 cup apple cider
-Chopped parsley, for garnish


Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain of excess grease on paper towels. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add bacon, mussels, and cider; bring to a boil. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until mussels open; discard any unopened shells.

Place about mussels in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Ladle about the cup broth mixture over the top and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with a big hunk of bread or some homemade fries for dipping.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

shannon February 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

i’m not a fan of mussels, but it certainly sounds like a delicious way to be nostalgic!


Kelly February 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Absolutely. Eating my Nostalgia is one of my favorite things to do.


Eve February 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm

This looks amazing. I haven’t ever tried cooking mussels, but I might with this recipe. I’ve been trying to step outside of my culinary comfort zone, so to speak!


Sues February 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

Yum. Mussels are one of my favorites, too, and I definitely don’t make them as often as I should. I order them at every opportunity I get, though!


Kerstin February 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Aww, this makes me miss the steaks of the midwest 🙂 The apple cider sounds great on these!


sophia February 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Aaaah! This sounds so goooooD! I shall double the recipe, but it’ll still be for one. Paired with fries doused in vinegar and herbs!


brandi February 15, 2012 at 8:34 am

i have NEVER made mussels at home, but i think i need to make this recipe. they look delicious!


5 Star Foodie February 16, 2012 at 8:07 am

A perfect portion! Delicious with apple cider & bacon!


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