MEJILLONES EN SALSA VERDE (Spanish steamed mussels with green sauce, for four as an appetizer, two as a main course)
“When clams (or mussels) are cooked and opened in a sauce, there is always the danger that they will release some sand. To minimize this possibility, place them, for several hours or overnight, in the refrigerator in a bowl of salted water sprinkled with one tablespoon of cornmeal. The clams will release any foreign materials and at the same time will become quite plump.” Penelope Casas, The Foods and Wines of Spain
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup minced parsley
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup clam juice
freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds mussels (preferably cultivated), scrubbed well and beards removed
- In a large casserole, sauté in the oil the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onion is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook a minute. Stir in the parsley, wine, clam juice, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
- Add the mussels and cook over a medium flame, covered, stirring occasionally, until they open wide, 3 to 6 minutes, removing them to a bowl with a slotted spoon as they open. Discard any mussels that do not open after 6 minutes. Uncover the casserole, simmer the sauce for a minute, and return the mussels to the pot. Stir and serve immediately.
adapted from Penelope Casas, The Foods and Wines of Spain