Mussels Buzara Recipe

Friday, September 29, 2017

The first time I tasted Mussels Buzara was on a trip to Montenegro during our honeymoon. It’s a common and popular dish in coastal Croatia and the rest of the Dalmatian region, including Montenegro. The term “buzara” means “stew” in Croatia.

Mussels Buzara and crusty bread
Mussels Buzara served with crusty bread
Mussels Buzara is very easy to prepare, with only a few ingredients found even on local Philippine grocery stores. The key to a tasty buzara is to get the right ingredients and the freshest seafood. If mussels are hard to find, you can substitute shrimp or clams. I normally use mussels because I can easily find them in my local supermarket. In addition, mussels are cheaper than clams and easier to eat than shrimp.


So here’s a quick and easy Mussels Buzara recipe for you to try
 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes or less
Serves 2 to 3 persons


Ingredients:

-    ¾ to 1 kg mussels, scrubbed, cleaned, and pre-soaked in water for 20 minutes
-    ¼ cup olive oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
-    6 to 8 large garlic cloves, chopped
-    ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
-    1 ¼ cup dry white wine
-    ¼ cup bread crumbs
-    ½ tbsp freshly ground pepper
-    pinch of salt


Cooking Instructions:

1. Heat olive oil in a pot on medium heat. Add half of the chopped garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

2. Lower the heat and add half of the parsley. Stir for another 30 seconds.

3. Drain the mussels and add them in the pot. Mix well until they are coated with olive oil. Put on the lid and cook the mussels for about 5 minutes until they start to open.

4. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. You can add more pepper if you want a stronger flavor. Lower the heat and add white wine. Let it boil for 7 minutes.

5. Gradually add bread crumbs to make the stew thicker, but not too thick. Mix and let it boil for a couple of minutes.

6. Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining garlic and parsley. Serve with crusty bread.


Be prepared to get your hands dirty while eating this dish! You can dip the crusty bread in an olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix, or just dip the bread directly into your bowl of Mussels Buzara.

Mussels Buzara coated with olive oil, garlic, and fresh parsley
I Castelli Pinot Grigio
Mussels Buzara with bread crumbs


Notes

1. Picking the right wine can make a difference. Skip the “cooking wine” and instead grab a bottle of the usual drinking wine at the liquor store. I use Pinot Grigio with not more than 12% alcohol content. You can cook 2 to 3 batches of Mussels Buzara with a 750ml bottle of white wine.

2. Only the regular, powdery bread crumbs will work on this recipe. Again, don’t overdo the amount of bread crumbs to maintain the stew-like or soup-like texture of the dish.

3. Keep the cooking time under 20 minutes so that the mussels are cooked just right.

4. A crusty bread is crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside. You can use baguette or French boule. Just slice it up and toast it before serving. I usually buy the “French Boulot” from French Bakers, which only costs Php 40.00 (less than US$ 1).

Enjoy your Mussels Buzara and share this recipe!

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