Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mussels in White Wine with Sausage and Cherry Tomatoes

O mussels. What can I say? I love to eat you. Simple as that. I made these delicious mussels over the weekend and was so happy to find LARGE sized mussels. For some reason it's been so difficult lately to find mussels that are larger than the size of a nickle. And how frustrating is that? You buy mussels closed - so you have no idea what you are going to get. Luckily, I went to my favorite fish market on Saturday and was promised I wouldn't be disappointed. So I took my chances and we FEASTED on these delicious guys all night. Four pounds of them. For two people. Yep. I love to eat you.

I did these mussels in a simple white wine garlic sauce and added a ton of fresh herbs. The addition of the sausage (I used a pre-cooked lean chicken sausage - but you can use whatever you like) adds a ton of flavor and will fill you up so you don't have to make anything else for dinner. Hope you enjoy!

4 pounds of mussels, scrubbed and debearded (discard any mussels that are open)
8 ounces of lean chicken sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 bulb of fennel, chopped (about 1 cup)
8 garlic gloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups of onion, chopped
1 cup of good quality white wine
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of organic butter (I used whipped so it was less fat)
1 pinch of saffron
3 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of chopped parsley, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
3 tablespooons of chopped basil
2 tablespoons of chopped chives
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved

In a large soup pot over medium high heat, melt the better and add the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion and fennel. Cook until fragrant and until the onion is translucent. Add your sausage of choice (I used organic pre-cooked lean chicken sausage, but whatever kind you want to use will work fine. If you use uncooked, be sure that you cook it well in the oil and butter before adding the rest of the ingredients). Add the 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, saffron, salt, pepper and mix well until all flavors are combined. Add the white wine and stir. Cover the pot and steam until the mussels are all open (about 5 to 7 minutes). Remove from heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, basil, chives and cherry tomatoes. Stir till combined and serve hot!

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