Recipe Spotlight: Mussels with Tomatoes and Shallots

Written by Joy Errico Seusing

For the past few years, every time I went to a restaurant, I would find myself ordering the mussels appetizer if it was on the menu. I finally decided to try to make my own. The following recipe is the result of much experimentation. This is served best with crusty bread or toasted garlic bread and a green salad. This recipe serves 2-3 people as a full meal. Enjoy!
1 lb mussels 
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 shallots, diced
1 bulb fennel, sliced thin (optional)
1 tbsp. butter
2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup good white wine (if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t use it!)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. thyme (dry)
4 tbsp. cream (use half and half, soy milk creamer, lite cream or heavy cream, depending on preference)
¼ tsp. red chili pepper flakes

Put mussels in a large bowl with cold water to clean them. Sit for 30 minutes and drain. You should sit dirt on the bottom of the bowl. Give the mussels another rinse.
In the meantime, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, fennel, and lemon juice. Heat for 5-7 minutes until shallots become translucent. Add the tomatoes, white wine, broth, salt, pepper, red chili pepper flakes, and thyme. Saute for another 7 minutes. 

Add water to the bottom inch of a large put. Put mussels in a steamer basket within the pot. Set on high heat and cook for 7-8 minutes until mussel shells open (that is how you know they are done!)
While mussels are cooking, add cream to the skillet and incorporate into the broth.
When mussels are done, sauté with the sauce for one minute. Serve immediately.
Joy Errico Seusing lives in Needham with her husband and two young children. She is the Vice President for External Relations at Jumpstart, a national early education organization headquartered in Boston. In addition to being a happily busy working mom, Joy loves traveling to new places, reading on her Kindle, interior design, power yoga, and of course, cooking!  Joy is a monthly contributor for the Parent Talk blog so be sure to check back for new recipe ideas each month.

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