The French celebrate Bastille Day Tuesday. Salute them with this easy-to-prepare, delicious dinner. It takes only minutes to cook.
Figure about 2 pounds mussels per person. Store the mussels in the refrigerator. The commercially raised mussels available today are cleaner than they used to be. Just wash them in cold water before using. If any mussels are open, tap them gently. Discard any that do not close.
This dish is really a meal in itself. Be sure to have plenty of fresh French bread to soak up every last drop.
Any type of white wine can be used.
Chicken broth can be used instead of wine.
Serve cooked mussels and then serve remaining sauce.
To buy: 1 large onion, 1 bunch celery, 1 bunch fresh tarragon (or 1 bottle dried tarragon), 1 bottle white wine, 4 pounds mussels and 1 whole grain baguette.
Staples: butter, garlic.
WHITE WINE STEAMED MUSSELS
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups sliced onion
1 cup sliced celery
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup white wine such as sauvignon blanc
4 pounds mussels
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
½ whole grain baguette, sliced
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, saute 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue to saute 3 minutes. Add wine, mussels and tarragon leaves. Bring liquid to a boil and cover with a lid. Let boil about 3 to 4 minutes. The mussels should open. Cook a little longer if most are not opened. Take the pan off the heat. Do not overcook the mussels. They will become rubbery. Lift the mussels out of the pan with a slotted spoon into 2 large soup bowls. Discard any mussels that are not open. Serve the mussels. When they are finished, serve the broth and vegetables in the same bowl with the baguette slices on the side. Leave about ¼-inch broth in the pan. This may contain sand from the mussels.
Makes 2 servings.
Per serving: 500 calories (23 percent from fat), 12.7 g fat (4.9 g saturated, 3.5 g monounsaturated), 80 mg cholesterol, 33.9 g protein, 52.3 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 1,026 mg sodium.