Moules Mariniere (Mussels 'Sailor' Style)

There are, not surprisingly, many variations on this classic dish. We like ours stripped down to its simplest form. Served with garlic crostini or fresh french baguette, this is an easy, healthy, weeknight meal. Pro tip: since mussels are alive when you buy them, get them out of the plastic bag as soon as possible. Store them in the fridge, in a shallow bowl covered with a damp towel until ready to use.

The recipe below makes plenty for two people and the whole meal comes together in 10-15 minutes.

2 T butter, divided

1/4 c minced shallot

kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper (or chili flakes)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c dry white wine

1 1/2 c chicken or fish stock

2 T finely chopped parsley

2 lbs mussels, cleaned

In a medium saucepan or sauté pan over medium heat, melt 1T butter until foaming. Add shallots, 2 big pinches of salt, a couple of grinds of pepper and cook till softened. Add garlic and sauté until aromatic - about 30 seconds. Add wine and reduce until nearly dry - about 1 minute. Add stock with another pinch of salt and bring to simmer. Add mussels, cover pan and steam until opened - about 3-4 minutes - giving the pan a toss or shake midway through. Using a spider, slotted spoon, or tongs, transfer the mussels directly from the pan into two serving bowls - leaving the broth. To the broth add the remaining 1T butter and parsley. Continue to simmer until butter has melted, swirling the pan as you do so. Taste and adjust with more salt or pepper if necessary. Spoon broth over mussels and serve with garlic crostini or crunchy french bread.

Michelle Hohman