Mussels in Lemon Butter Sauce, Carrabba's

July 18, 2016

We had a hard time getting this recipe, since the Carrabba's folks guard it pretty seriously. Then the San Antonio Express News got a hold of the recipe and published it in their paper and on the internet. We had a link to it for a while, but that link eventually disappeared, for whatever reason. Here is the recipe supposedly obtained by the Express News.

4 C          Mussels
2 T           Extra virgin olive oil
2 T           Chopped yellow onion
2 T           Chopped garlic
2 T           Pernod (French licorice-flavored liquer)
1 to 2 T   Chopped fresh basil
                Juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 C       Lemon Butter Sauce (recipe follows)
Soak mussels in cold water for several minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush, and remove "beard" (the little tuft of fibers protruding from the shell), either with a sharp knife or by pulling on it with a damp cloth. Rinse mussels again in cold water.
Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skillet; add mussels. Cover with another 10-inch skillet or lid, and cook until shells begin to open--about 2 minutes. Remove top, and add onion and garlic, and toss. Cover pan again, and cook for 1 minute.Remove top and add Pernod, basil, lemon juice and lemon butter sauce. Return to flame for 30-45 seconds with top off skillet. Discard any mussels that did not open. Serve in a deep bowl.
Makes 2 servings

Lemon Butter Sauce:

2 T         Clarified butter (you'll need about 1/2 stick butter; directions follow)
2 T         finely chopped yellow onion
2 T         finely chopped garlic
6 T         fresh lemon juice
2 T         dry white wine
Kosher salt
white pepper
2 T        cold butter

To clarify butter; Melt 1/2 stick butter over low heat. When melted, remove from heat, and set aside for serveral minutes to allow the milk solids to settle to the bottom. Skim the clear (clarified) butter from the top, and discard sediment. (This can be done ahead.)

To make sauce; Heat clarified butter, add onion and garlic, and saute until transparent. Add lemon juice and white wine, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes to reduce liquid. Remove from heat and swirl in cold butter until sauce is smooth and emulsified.

Warren's notes--
   I love the mussels at Carrabba's, but I think these have too much lemon in them. Experiment until you either have them like Carrabba's or as you like them.