Mussels are delicious when simply steamed in garlic and white wine. This recipe combines steaming with smoking for a great appetizer. From Mike Stines' article "Smoking Succulent Shellfish". Read more how-to and recipes for smoked mussels, clams, scallops, and oysters here.
1 to 2 pounds Blue mussels
2 cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot minced
4 springs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Add the wine, lemon juice, garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper flakes to a 6 1/2-quart stock pot. Fit a steamer basket into the pot and bring the liquid to a high simmer over medium heat.
Scrub the mussels with a vegetable brush and remove the “beard” on the edge of the mussels (do not do this in advance, as removing the beard will kill the mussel).
Put the mussels into the stock pot and tightly cover. Steam the mussels until they just open, about five to seven minutes. Drain in a colander. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the shells—reserving the shells for presentation. Discard any mussels that do not open.
Prepare the smoker for a 200 degrees F. cook using whatever wood you prefer. Smoke the mussels on a grill rack or smoking mat for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not overcook the mussels.
Remove the mussels from the smoker. Place the smoked mussel in one half of the reserved shell and serve.
(Any remaining mussels may be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to three days. I usually store them in a good-quality olive oil.)