In every episode of Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, learn cooking fundamentals following Martha’s signature step-by-step, how-to teaching process. Be sure to check your local listings to see when this episode will be airing in your area.
Steaming is one of the fastest and healthiest ways to cook — and it’s not just for vegetables. In this lesson, Martha demonstrates a variety of steaming techniques and tools that allow you to make complete meals in just minutes. She’ll show you how to cook chicken breasts in parchment paper for moist, flavorful meat, as well as how to clean and steam mussels. And if you’ve never used a bamboo steamer before, you’ll become a convert after watching Martha use one to prepare steamed salmon and peas simultaneously for a quick and easy dinner.
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Martha Stewart shows you some tips on steaming mussels, chicken, and salmon.
Watch This Week’s Cooking Lesson
What kind of potatoes make the best mashed potatoes? Martha Stewart tells you and explains why.
This Week’s Recipe
Steamed Mussels with Wine and Saffron
Saffron is the key ingredient in this mussels recipe. It adds great color and flavor to this dish.
- 3 pounds fresh mussels
- 1 large pinch saffron (about 30 threads)
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- Holding mussels under cool running water, scrub with a stiff sponge or vegetable brush, then debeard: grip the tough fibers extending from the shell and pull to remove. Discard beards.
- Steep saffron in wine for 10 minutes. (Saffron is soluble in water, not fat, so it won’t release its color or flavor if added directly to the butter.)
- Meanwhile, melt butter over medium-high heat in a shallow stockpot. Once it’s foamy, add shallots, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Cook until shallots are transparent and garlic is soft, about 3 minutes, stirring every so often to keep garlic from scorching.
- Pour in wine and saffron, then add tomatoes and return to a simmer, stirring once or twice.
- Add mussels and cover tightly. Cook until all mussels open, about 6 minutes, stirring once about halfway through. Discard any unopened mussels. If using wild mussels, strain broth through a cheesecloth-lined sieve to remove any sand, if necessary.
- Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with parsley before ladling mussels and broth into bowls.
Yield: 4 servings