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Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 2, 2009: Mussels on a Winter Night

White wine and fragrant, sweet Blood Oranges make Mussels a special winter treat!

As March delivers her windy days and cold nights, most cooks turn to comfort foods to help get us through the month. While hearty stews and simmering soups are wonderful, many of us are pressed for time and search for something satisfying that may be prepared in 1/2 hour after getting home from work. Here is a wonderful recipe that I found and adapted that offers up good nutrients, wonderful aromas, color and a broth that's perfect for soaking up with good crusty bread!

Paired with French Fries. French Bread and a delicious Belgium ale, such as Chimay Grande Reserve, this is a feast for the body & soul!

Orange-Steamed Mussels With Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 large celery stalk, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc wine
Three 1/4-inch slices of blood oranges, peeled
2 lbs. of mussels, cleaned and de-beareded
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Melt the butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and saute for approximately 5 minutes or until dark golden. Remove from heat and toss in chopped parsley. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold the mussels. Saute onion over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes. Add celery and cook for another 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic and saute for another minute or so. Pour in the wine and add the orange slices. Add the mussels and tomatoes to the pot. Cover and cook over high heat for approximately 5 minutes or until the mussel shells have opened. Discard any that remain closed.

Ladle the mussels into bowls, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and serve with slices of baquette.

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