|Fennel and Saffron Mussels|
We originally went to the fish counter at TnT to see if the Dungeness were a good deal. D says that during the peak season in San Francisco, you could find them for less than 2$/lb. That's nuts! When they go on sale here, a good deal is about 5$/lb. I thought that was good after living in a city like London. In the end we decided to have Mussels. I was apprehensive since our last batch had alot of discards. So this time, D chose each one carefully. That's what is great about the fish counter at TnT, you can select your own. We also bought one Dungeness and Clams for tomorrow.
Fennel and Saffron Mussels
2 lbs Mussels, cleaned
1 Shallot, minced
1 c Dry White Wine
1/4 t Saffron
1 t Fennel Seeds
3 T Butter
1/2 c Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Parsley (optional)
Scrub any barnacles or other crunchiness off the shell of the Mussels. Pull any beards off. Throw any Mussels that are open or cracked away. Don't play here. You can tap them and if they shut, then okay. If the stay open, there is no saving them or the money. They will hurt you. Luckily at TnT's fresh fish counter, you can pick your Mussels and Clams some other goodies yourself. That said, it can still be a gamble by the time you get them home.
In a large, heavy sauce pan, heat 1 T of Olive Oil. Add the Shallots. Soften for 1 minute. Add the Fennel Seeds and stir.
Add the Wine, Saffron, 1 T of the Parsley. Cut the 1/2 Lemon into half again. Squeeze into the pot and add the wedges right in. Bring to a boil.
Have the lid handy. Throw in all the drained, cleaned Mussels into the pot quickly. Cover and rattle around vigorously. Bring down to a simmer. They should all open within 3 - 5 minutes. Check after 3. Well, we have glass lids on our pots so we can watch the progress. Stir to incorporate all the Mussel juices and the allow some of the aromatics into the Mussels. In total, you don't want to leave on the stove for more than 10 minutes.
Now opposite to before cooking, do not keep any that did not open. Throw them away.
Lift all the Mussels into the serving bowls. Leaving back the liquid. Add the Butter cut into chunks. Let simmer for a few minutes. Pour over the Mussels and garnish with Parsley. Serve with toasted Sourdough Baguette and some fresh chopped Parsley.
MMMMMM, Yummo to the last drop!