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Sometimes you want fresh seafood without all the hassle that comes along with preparing to cook it. That’s where pantry mussels come in.

In this series, reporter Felicia LaLomia takes you through how to cook with booze. And, of course, she will be trying lots of it along the way.

Made with a light beer, these mussels can be cooked with the below ingredient or can be swapped for whatever you’re feeling or have. Add more garlic, throw in some sesame oil, garnish with more herbs, leave out the anchovies — you’ll always end up with a delicious broth at the bottom just dying for some crusty bread. And a cold, crisp Summer Ale pairs perfectly.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion (or shallot), chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 to 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 to 3 sprigs of thyme, de-stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 anchovies
  • 1/2 can of ale
  • 1 pound of mussels, cleaned
  • 1/2 lemon
  • herbs of choice


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for three minutes. Add in garlic and season with salt and pepper. Once fragrant, add tomato paste and thyme and stir until caramelized, about five minutes.
  2. Stir in beer and bring to a simmer. Add mussels, stir and cover pot, checking every few minutes until all or most of the mussels have opened, about five to seven minutes. Any mussels that are still closed can be tossed.
  3. Remove from heat and add in a squeeze of lemon and remaining herbs. Serve with crusty bread and a cold Summer Ale!