Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mussels in White Wine

Mussels in White Wine

On a night in several Sundays back, I whipped up a delicious bowl of mussels steamed in a white wine broth.  I love seafood of (almost) every variety.  And mussels have become a favorite in recent years.  I enjoy grilling them, adding them to savory tarts--and oh yes, steaming them in flavorful, bread-sopping broths.

This recipe combines such robust flavors as saffron, tomatoes, thyme and garlic (just to name a few).  All together, they create a spicy broth that serves as the perfect "bath" for the mussels--and makes for the perfect excuse to dip warm, crusty bread, which is a not-to-be-forgotten plus of making and enjoying this meal.

Versatile enough to be served as an appetizer course or main entree, this dish serves up one delicious bite after another and kept me coming back for more until the bowl was literally clean!

Happy Eating!

Mussels in White Wine
Recipe adapted from Barefoot In Paris

 *Cook's Note:  The recipe was prepared to serve 2 and can be easily adapted to the original recipe which serves 6.

2.5 pounds mussels
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced 
1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes, drained (4 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper  

Clean the mussels by putting them in a large bowl and covering with ~1.5 to 2 quarts of water and the flour and soak for 30 minutes.  Drain the mussels and remove the "beard" from each.  If they're dirty, scrub them with a brush under running water.  Discard any mussels whose shells aren't tightly shut.  Soak the saffron in 1/4 cup hot tap water for 15 minutes and set aside.

In a large dutch oven or stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes; then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, or until the shallots are translucent.  Add the saffron with the soaking water, the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, wine, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.

Add the mussels, stir well, then cover the pot and cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until all the mussels are opened (discard any that do not open).  With the lid on, shake the pot once or twice to be sure the mussels don't burn on the bottom.  Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large bowl and serve hot.

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