Monday, January 9, 2012

Mussels in White Wine with Saffron

Recipe Review- Perfect for a romantic dinner or a small get together- Mussels are an easy way to make a sumptuous meal that is sure to impress!

Before meeting Kevin I had always thought of mussels as an ingredient. I had them before in chowders, seafood soups and the like, but never as a main dish. Early on in our dating while we were at the Blind Lady Alehouse Kevin ordered us some mussels. I was perplexed. "Just a plate of mussels?" I thought. Then they arrived, and we ate them, soaking up the broth with french fries, and I was hooked.

Last weekend my friend Amber came over, and she suggested that we made mussels for dinner. I couldn't believe how simple it was- and affordable too. The Mussels were only 3.99 a lb at Whole Foods! We ate them with some crusty french bread and a Gorgonzola and pear salad on mixed greens. It was a great dinner and cooking at home (glass of wine in hand) was the perfect way to end a busy week and relax. Now that I know how simple it is I'm excited to make mussels at home more often. It feels like a fancy indulgent dinner, but its really not.

Mussels in White Wine with Saffron
adapted from Barefoot Contessa
serves 4

3 lbs mussels
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup white wine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Clean the mussels, by putting them in a large bowl with 2 quarts water and the flour and soak for 30 minutes (This removes any sand). Drain the mussels, then removed the "beard" with your fingers. If needed scrub the mussels with a brush under running water. Be sure to discard any mussels with shells that are not tightly shut.

In a large stock pot heat the butter and olive oil over medium head. Add the shallots an cook for 5 minutes. Add the Garlic and cook 3 more minutes or until the shallots are translucent. Add the tomatoes, saffron, parsley, thyme, wine salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Add the mussels, stir well, then cover the pot, and cook over medium for 8-10 minutes. With lid on shake pot once or twice during cooking to be sure mussels do not burn on the bottom. Once all mussels are opened pour into a large bowl with sauce and serve. Discard any mussels that do not open.

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