Mussels steamed in a garlic, tomato and white wine broth are easy and inexpensive to make.
Figure about 2 pounds mussels per person.
The commercially raised mussels available today are cleaner than they used to be. Just wash them in cold water before using. Scrape off the beard or thin hairs along the shell. This is how the mussel attaches itself to rocks. If any mussels are open, tap them gently. Discard any that do not close.
This dish is really a meal in itself. Be sure to have plenty of fresh French bread to soak up every last drop.
Serve with a delicate, bone-dry French muscadet. If you cant find that, an Italian pinot grigio will do fine.
• Fish broth can be substituted for the white wine.
• Slice the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a thin slicing blade.
• Start vegetables.
• While vegetables cook, wash mussels.
• Finish dish.
To buy: 1 medium onion, 1 small bunch celery, 4 plum tomatoes, 1 small bunch parsley, 4 pounds mussels, 1 bottle dry white wine, 1 French baguette.
Staples: Olive oil, garlic and black peppercorns.
To see a printable recipe, click on the link below:
HEAT oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, celery and tomatoes until they start to shrivel but not color, about 5 minutes. Add wine and some freshly ground pepper and bring to a boil. Add mussels and cover saucepan tightly. Let boil about 3 minutes, shaking pan several times. The wine will boil up over mussels and they will open. As soon as they are open, take the pan off heat. Do not overcook. The mussels will become rubbery if you do.
TO SERVE: Lift mussels out of pan with a slotted spoon and place in two large soup bowls. Discard any mussels that do not open. Spoon broth over mussels. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Serve with slices of French baguette.Yield: 2 servings. Per serving: 534 calories (23 percent from fat), 13.9 g fat (2.3 g saturated, 6.8 g monounsaturated), 64 mg cholesterol, 35.2 g protein, 57.6 g carbohydrates, 6.7 g fiber, 971 mg sodium.