Steamed Mussels with Lemon and Bay

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Longtime readers here know that seafood wasn’t a big thing in my house growing up (save for catfish), and that I didn’t become a seafood fiend until after I married one in my mid-twenties. Upon thinking about what to write for this post, it occurred to me that I really and truly do not remember how Matt got me to try mollusks. I wish I did, but after thinking about it for several days, I’ll have to conclude that that memory has just flown the coop.

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All I do know is that he did convince me to try mussels and clams in the shell, and I fell head over heels in love. A big bowl of steamed mussels, a hunk of bread, (not forgetting to put out the kill bowl,) and some chilled white wine makes for one fine romantic evening. We try to have such an evening at least once a month or so. It’s good stuff. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Cherry Streusel Muffins}

Source: slightly adapted from Food and Wine

Ingredients:
2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
4 tbs unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 shallots, minced
2 fresh bay leaves
Crusty bread, for serving

Directions:
Heat a large pot. Add all of the ingredients except the salt, pepper and bread and cook over high heat, shaking the pan and stirring occasionally, until the mussels open, about 7 minutes. Some mussels will open sooner than this, so keep an eye on them. When the early mussels open, quickly grab them with tongs and remove them to a large serving bowl. Once all the mussels have opened, immediately shut off the heat and pour the remaining contents of the pot into the bowl. Discard the bay leaves and serve right away with crusty bread.
Serves 2. Double the recipe exactly for 4 servings.

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