Sunday, October 03, 2010

Mussels in a Sherry Marinade

I am fully aware that this recipe is not going to appeal to everyone. Fine by me...means more for me. I'll take my bowl, my cocktail fork and my crusty bread and see you tomorrow.

However, if you'd like to join me in this briny decadence, whip up a batch for a casual cocktail party and serve with copitas of dry Sherry or glasses of crisp white wine.

Mussels in a Sherry Vinaigrette
Makes 8 servings.

1 cup dry white wine
1 cup medium dry sherry
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
3-4 sprigs thyme
3-4 bay leaves
1 dried red chile pepper
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded

Tie the chile pepper, cloves and peppercorns in cheesecloth to make a sachet. Combine all other ingredients except mussels in a very large pan. Add the sachet and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Add mussels to hot marinade. Cover pan and cook over high heat, stirring once, just until mussels open, about 5 minutes. Let cool in the liquid.

Transfer mussels and marinade to a bowl, discarding any unopened mussels. Discard sachet.

Cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Mussels will absorb almost all the liquid and become plump. Let them come to room temperature before serving in bowls.

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