Many consider the payoff to be what's left in the bowl after the mussels are gone: the broth that gets sopped up with chunks of crusty bread. Adjust its flavor by substituting red wine for white, or using beer instead.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot
- 1 pound mussels, cleaned
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon thinly sliced scallions (cut crosswise)
- 1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Discard any mussels whose shells are cracked or do not close tightly when tapped.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallot; cook for about 1 minute, stirring so the mixture does not burn. Add the mussels and cook, uncovered, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cover; cook for 3 minutes, until the wine has reduced by half and the mussels start to open. Uncover and add the lemon juice, scallions and parsley, stirring slightly to incorporate; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the butter and reduce the heat to low. Swirl the butter in the pan, letting it incorporate to form a velvety sauce, with the mussels still in the pan. Remove from the heat and transfer the mussels and sauce to a large bowl; discard any mussels that have not opened. Serve immediately.
From chef Rob Klink at the Oceanaire Seafood Room in downtown Washington.
Tested by Tom Wilkinson.
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