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Mussels in White Wine (Moules Mariniere)

This is one of the most popular of French fish dishes and is a specialty of Brittany. It should be eaten in large bowls, rather like soup–with an extra bowl for the shells.

ingredients

4 servings
2 Shallots, finely chopped
1 Garlic clove, crushed
1 Bouquet garni
2 Parsley sprigs
3 litres (6 pints) 3 1/2 qts Mussels, scrubbed, soaked for 1 hour in cold water and drained
600 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups Dry white wine
50 g (2 oz) 4 Tbs Butter, cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs Chopped parsley

method

1. Put the shallots, garlic and herbs in a large buttered saucepan.

2. Discard any mussels which are not tightly shut or do not close if sharply tapped, and any that have broken shells or have floated in the water. Arrange the remaining mussels in the pan and pour over the wine. Scatter over half the butter, cover and bring to the boil. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mussel shells open. Remove the mussels from the pan and remove one shell from each one. Arrange the mussels in a warmed serving dish and keep hot.

3. Remove the bouquet garni and parsley sprigs from the pan and boil the liquid rapidly until it has reduced by one-third and has thickened. Stir in the seasoning and remaining butter until it has melted.

4. Pour over the mussels, sprinkle over the parsley and serve at once.

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