Friday, December 16, 2011

Wine Poached Mussels

Scott left this morning to run errands in the city and Lily and Dawn took off to do some Christmas shopping, so I was blissfully alone to bake, bake, bake. Farmers Market is in the morning and bread was on my agenda. Scott came in around 5 and I knew he'd be hungry, so I made these Wine Poached Mussels. In 15 minutes, we were seated at the table with three big bowls in front of us...two empty ones for us to fill and another for the mussel shells. Farmed Mussels are a sustainable seafood and considered eco friendly. They are also incredibly cheap-our local grocery has them for $1.83 for a one pound frozen package. This is how I make them  (I wish I had pictures but these are so easy, there is no need...besides I forgot to take any). Set a fairly deep skillet (I use a French skillet) on the stove and set heat to medium. Pour about 1 1/2 to 2 cups white wine into the skillet. Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon and about 2 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces. Crush up about 3/4 teaspoon saffron into the mixture and let it come to a simmer. Open the bag of frozen mussels (you always cook these from their frozen state-don't thaw them) and pour into the skillet. I used 2 pounds (2 bags) because we are gluttons really like mussels. Cover the pan and nudge the heat a bit higher-medium high-and let the mussels cook for about 15 minutes. After about 8 minutes, take the lid off the pan and scoop the mussels so the ones on top go to the bottom. Cover the pan and continue to cook. They are done when you take off the lid and most all the mussels are open. While they are cooking, slice some good bread (usually in abundance at our house) REALLY thin and place on a cookie sheet. Pop in the oven at about 400 degrees. When the mussels are done, the bread should be crisp. I cut the bread diagonally and we put a slice or two in our bowls, scoop a bunch of mussels out of their shells onto the bread and then ladle lots of the cooking liquid over the bread and mussels. Heavenly. I will admit that after dinner I poured the remaining "broth" into a cup and drank it. It took us longer to eat this dinner than it took to make it. When I am busy, this is my kind of cooking.

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