Steamed Mussels in Saffron Broth
Serves 4 as an appetizer
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 large stalks of celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 generous pinch of saffron threads
3 Tbsp tomato puree (paste)
1 c. dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 - 1 tsp red chili flakes
Heat oil in a heavy 3 quart saucepan over low heat.
Add in the celery, onion and garlic. Cover and cook over low heat about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Add in saffron, tomato puree, wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Strain.
When you're ready to eat, reheat the mixture to a simmer. Add in the mussels, cover and steam them for 8-10 minutes, until the mussels are open. Discard any that do not open.
To serve, place the mussels on a large platter, add the chili flakes to the sauce and stir briefly. Spoon the sauce over the top, or plate them individually.
Recipe adapted from The New York Times Seafood Cookbook recipe by Florence Fabricant