Updated 01/15/2013 05:00 AM
Recipe: Steamed Mussels with Caramelized Onions, Sundried Tomatoes and Thyme
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2 pounds fresh mussels (see hints below)
1 large clove garlic, minced
2-3 Tbs room temperature butter
10-12 1/2-inch thick slices French bread
1 medium onion, thinly chopped
2 Tbs butter
1Tbs fresh chopped thyme
1/3 - 1/2 cup sundried tomato strips (see hints below)
3/4 - 1 cup dry white wine
1/3 - 1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mince a large clove of garlic, add that to a small bowl and add 2 - 3 Tbs room temperature butter to that and mix it up.
Spread the butter over the top of 10 - 12 sliced pieces of French bread on a baking tray and pop the tray into the preheated oven.
While you're keeping your eye on the bread, peel and thinly chop one medium onion.
Add 2 Tbs butter to a heavy bottomed pan that is large enough to eventually hold the mussels and add the onion to that and saute it to caramelize a bit.
While you're cooking the onions along on medium heat, rinse the mussels under cold water, drain them and discard any mussels that are open and remain open.
Once the onions have browned up a little bit, add about 1 Tbs fresh chopped thyme and 1/3 - 1/2 cup sundried tomato strips, add 3/4 - 1 cup dry white wine and 1/3 - 1/2 cup heavy cream and bring it up to a boil.
At that point add the mussels, give the pan a shake and put a lid on top to steam the mussels open.
The mussels won't take any more than 4 - 5 minutes to steam open and then you'll want to turn the heat off and leave the lid on top.
Take the croutons out of the oven when they're golden brown and it's time to eat.
If there are any mussels that don't steam open when the rest have, discard the closed ones before serving.
Rope cultured mussels are a lot less sandy than wild mussels. But, either way, the mussels should be rinsed and or scrubbed under cold water and any "beards" that are attached to the shells should be removed before cooking.
Try to use olive oil cured sundried tomatoes for this, otherwise reconstitute the sundried tomatoes in a little warm water before using.