|Black Skillet Mussels
On no account should the pan become white-hot -- when a few drops of water dance across its surface, it's ready. Beyond that, it’s just a matter of keeping the mussels in a single layer and taking them off the heat as soon as the juices evaporate.
1 1/2 pounds mussels, washed and debearded
2 tablespoons butter (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large cast-iron or heavy steel skillet over high heat about 5 minutes, or until drops of water dance across the surface. Add mussels to skillet in one layer. (Your pan may hold more or less than 1 1/2 pounds; use as many as will fit comfortably.)
Cook mussels, shaking pan occasionally, until they begin to open. Meanwhile, in a small pan over low heat, melt butter if you're using it. When all mussels are open and their juices have evaporated in the hot pan, about 10 minutes, remove from heat, sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately in pan with butter for dipping. 2 servings. Source: The New York Times