Happy New Year, friends! I’m a little sad to say goodbye to 2012, but nothing that a little (or a lot) of seafood can’t fix. It’s been a tradition in our house to have a seafood feast at New Year’s, and we’ve even been known to eat so much that we can barely breathe (resolution that year: reduce gluttony).
Some of my favorite meals are the ones that I don’t have to cook myself, and my husband did most of the cooking for our New Year’s Eve dinner. About 25 years ago I went to France with my family, and we had these mussels at a restaurant. For the next 25 years my parents talked about it. My husband grew up in France, so between all of us there is a significant Moules marinieres fan base in the family. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law kindly gifted me Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris which has a delicious version of this recipe.
Start by soaking the live mussels in water and flour for 30 minutes, which gets them to expel sand (mmm, nothing more appetizing than “expel” in a recipe).
Then, de-beard the mussels. Let them reveal their true identities.
Sautee the shallots and add garlic.
Then add tomatoes, saffron, parsley, thyme, wine, salt, and pepper.
Add the mussels and stir.
Cook til the mussels open.
And then try not to eat too much.
Wishing you a savory 2013!
MUSSELS IN WINE SAUCE (Ina Garten, Barefoot in Paris)
- 3 pounds cultivated mussels
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 cup chopped shallots (5 to 7 shallots)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
- 1/2 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes, drained (4 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon good saffron threads
- 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup good white wine
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To clean the mussels, put them in a large bowl with 2 quarts of water and the flour and soak for 30 minutes, or until the mussels disgorge any sand. Drain the mussels, then remove the “beard” from each with your fingers. If they’re dirty, scrub the mussels with a brush under running water. Discard any mussels whose shells aren’t tightly shut.
In a large non-aluminum stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. Add the tomatoes, saffron, 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 8 to 10 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.
Serves 2; can be easily doubled.