Mussels in Saffron-Garlic Broth

3 1/2 to 4 poundsmussels, well scrubbed and debearded
1/4 cups olive oil
2 tablespoonsbutter
1 mediumonion, finely chopped
6 clovesgarlic, coarsely chopped
large pinch saffron threads, crumbled
1 smallbay leaf
dried red pepper flakes, to taste
1 1/4 cupsdry white wine
3 tablespoonsfresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
sea salt, to taste


Discard any mussels that do not close to the touch. In a mussel pot or large pot over medium to low heat, heat the olive oil with the butter until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, garlic, saffron, and cook until the onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf, red pepper, and wine, increase heat to medium-high and cook for about 2 minutes.

If using a regular pot, add the mussels. If using a mussel pot, place the wire grate in the pot and add the mussels. Scatter the parsley over the mussels and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, shaking the pot once or twice, until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Serve the mussels directly from the pot at the table or spoon the mussels into four warmed bowls. Spoon the broth over the mussels. Serve with" target="_blank"> French fries or" target="_blank"> French Bread.

Serves 4.

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