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Mussels with White Wine-Herb Broth
Serves 4 as an appetizer, or 2 as a main course
This dish is all about the fresh herbs—and lots of them. Serve with slabs of toasted country bread for dipping into the herbaceous broth.
4 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds mussels, beards removed
2 cups dry white wine or vermouth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or basil
Freshly ground black pepper
Pour the boiling water into a large serving bowl and set aside to warm while preparing the mussels.
Heat the oil in the 4-Quart Stock Pot.
Add the shallots, and garlic and season with a little salt. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often, until soft.
Add the mussels, wine, thyme, and bay leaf.
Cover and cook until steam just begins to escape from under the lid.
Spin the lid to engage the vapor seal then immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook for 4 minutes. Lift the lid and give the mussels a quick, but gentle stir. If the mussels are not open, replace the lid and cook for another 15. (Do not over cook or they will be crumbly and tough.)
Discard the hot water from the bowl. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mussels to the warm bowl. Discard any unopened mussels. Cover loosely with foil.
Stir the parsley and tarragon into the broth and season with salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Pour the broth over the mussels and serve immediately.