The tomato soup and veal dish were voted off the island. Broiled mussels with parmesan, parsley, and breadcrumbs got your top vote so, being true to my word, I attempted the recipe from my new cookbook “Frame-by-Frame Italian.” I brought the finished product to my mother’s house on a night she happened to be making salmon, tilapia, and steamers (we call them piss clams) so it was a great seafood dinner. And these mussels were a big hit with everyone so I’ll definitely be making these again. I think this would be a great addition to the Christmas Eve table. —Diana
2 lbs mussels
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 tbsp dry white wine
¾ cup breadcrumbs (the recipe called for fresh white breadcrumbs. I used regular out-of-the-canister breadcrumbs)
1 lemon rind, finely grated
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the broiler to high. Clean the mussels by scrubbing or scrapping shells and pull off any beards. Discard broken shells and any that refuse to close when tapped.
Heat half the oil in a large pan and fry the shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the mussels and wine. Cover and cook over high heat, shaking the pan for 2-3 minutes until the mussels have opened.
Discard mussels that remained closed. All mine opened…yay! Drain the remaining mussels, reserving the cooking juices. Discard the top (empty) shells. If necessary, boil the juices to reduce to three tablespoons. (I didn’t do this and used a little more than three tablespoons to add to the breadcrumb mixture and then dumped the rest.)
Mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon rind, parsley, parmesan cheese, and the reserved cooking juices with salt and pepper. Arrange the mussels into a baking pan and then spoon the breadcrumb mixture into each mussel half shell. Sprinkle the remaining oil over the mussels and cook under the preheated broiler 2-3 minutes until bubbling. Serve immediately.