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Mussels a la Mariniere (Steamed Mussels)

Mussels a la Mariniere (Steamed Mussels)
This simple bowlful of shellfish is a classic of Parisian bistros, where crusty bread is always served to soak up the aromatic broth.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 to 4 lb. mussels, well scrubbed and debearded
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Crusty French bread for serving

Directions:

Discard any mussels that do not close to the touch. In a large pot or mussel pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bay leaf, thyme and wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook for about 2 minutes.

If using a regular pot, add the mussels. If using a mussel pot, place the wire grate in the pot and add the mussels. Scatter the parsley over the mussels and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, shaking the pot once or twice, until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Serve the mussels directly from the pot at the table or, using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to 4 warmed soup plates or bowls, dividing them equally. Spoon the broth over the mussels. Accompany with French bread to sop up the juices.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Casual Entertaining, by Joyce Goldstein (Time-Life Books, 1998).