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Mussels Steamed in White Wine
4 quarts of mussels, cleaned
1 onion or 4 shallots, minced
2 to 3 garlic cloves (to taste), minced or pressed
2 cups dry white wine
4 parsley sprigs
1/2 bay leaf
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (to taste)
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Clean mussels. Combine the onion or shallots, garlic, wine, parsley springs, bay leaf, peppercorns, and thyme in a very large (lidded) pot or wok and bring to a boil. Boil a minute or two and add the mussels. Cover the pot tightly and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Shake the pot firmly several times during the cooking to distribute the mussels evenly and ensure even cooking. If the pot is too heavy to do this effectively, stir a couple of times with a long-handled spoon. The mussels are ready when their shells have opened (about 5 minutes). Discard any mussels that haven't opened.
Spoon the mussels into a wide soup bowl. Add the lemon juice to the broth, bring to a boil again, and pour over the mussels. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. The mussels are eaten by pulling them from the shells with the fingers, an empty shell, or a small fork. You'll need an extra bowl for the empty shells.
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