Classic Steamed Mussels for Friday Harbor Dining

  This is an old standby recipe with many wonderful and delicious variations.  The method is essentially the same for mussels or clams .  The best part is the dipping sauce - make sure you have some crusty European bread at the ready.  If there is any sauce left, you can save the base for a seafood paella or seafood cioppino. 1 pound Mussels 2 Tablespoons Butter 1 Tablespoons Shallot, chopped 2 cloves Garlic,  sliced 4 Tablespoons White wine 4 Tablespoons Italian Parsley, chopped 1)  Debeard 1 pound mussels and run cold water over them.  Remove any mussels that smell off or do not close when gently tapped.  Drain the water and set aside.  If not using immediately, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate.  Never store mussels in standing water. 2)  In a sauté pan large enough to accommodate all the mussels, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. 3)  Add shallots, chili flakes, and garlic.  Cook until the shallots are wilted and the garlic is golden. 4)  Add the mussels and toss to coat.  Add a liberal splash of white wine and cover the pan. 5)  Simmer several minutes until the mussels have popped open.  Sprinkle with 3 Tablespoons of parsley.  Taste the broth with a spoon.  Season with salt and pepper if needed. 6)  With a slotted spoon place the mussels in a warm shallow bowl, discarding any that have not opened.  Pour the pan sauce over the mussels and sprinkle with more parsley.  Serve with warm, crusty bread and eat immediately.
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