Mussels with Saffron Cream Sauce
Saffron, tomato and a touch of cream yields a flavorful sauce for these simple steamed mussels. Soak up the sauce with plenty of crusty whole-grain baguette.
Bottled clam juice can be very high in sodium. We like Bar Harbor brand, which has 120 mg sodium per 2-ounce serving. Look for it in the canned-fish section or the seafood department of your supermarket.
When shopping for mussels, look for ones that are closed--or those open only a fraction of an inch. When you get them home, store them in a large bowl with a few damp paper towels on top for up to 1 day. To clean them, discard mussels with broken shells or whose shell remains open after you tap it. Hold mussels under running water and use a stiff brush to remove any barnacles; pull off any black fibrous “beards”. (Some mussels may not have a beard.) Mussels should be “debearded” no more than 30 minutes before cooking.
Note: The dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron adds flavor and golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African and European foods. Soak it in a little water, wine or broth for about 30 minutes before adding to a dish to help release its delicious flavor. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops or at tienda.com. It will keep in an airtight container for several years.
1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 3 fat