16 May 2010

Mussels with White Wine and Garlic

I love mussels, and I realized I hadn't had any for ages - I think last time was actually when I still lived in Paris (other than in paellas and with various seafood pastas). It turns out Jacquie had only had one or two mussels in her life, but she was certainly willing to try them out. I had to go to a few different grocery stores to locate the main ingredient, but once I had the mussels ready, the recipe took less than 20 minutes to prepare (plus time for soaking and cleaning the mussels). Make sure you use a good white wine and don't skimp on the saffron!

Mussels with White Wine and Garlic

2 pounds mussels
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
5 medium shallots
5 garlic cloves
4 oz whole peeled tomatoes
1 packet saffron threads
1/2 cups chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 cup white wine

Start by soaking the mussels in a large bowl with fresh water. Mix in 1/3 cup all purpose flour or cornmeal to help with getting rid of the sand (this is especially true if you picked the mussels yourself - store bought ones are generally cleaner). After soaking, rinse and clean off any dirt and remove the "beard." The beard is the strings that may hang out from some mussels - grab it with your thumb and index finger and pull it toward the "hinge" part of the mussel to get rid of it. Make sure you discard any damaged mussels or any that aren't shut tight and won't close when you tap them. Set the mussels aside.

Chop the shallots, mince the garlic, chop the parsley and chop the (drained) tomatoes. Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add the shallots and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 3 minutes. Add the parsley, tomatoes, saffron, wine and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium again. Add the mussels and stir well. Cover and leave for 10 minutes. Shake the pot now and then to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom and burns, but don't remove the lid.

Discard any unopened mussels, transfer to a large bowl and serve immediately with fresh bread (baguette is pretty much unbeatable for this recipe). Just make sure you have enough bread to soak up all that wonderful broth...

1 comment:

  1. It's going to sound silly, but I actually felt like I was near the water eating this tonight. Delish! :)