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Mussels with white wine and bacon

Mussels with white wine and bacon

2 each: thyme sprigs, bay leaves

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter

3 shallots, minced

1 onion, finely chopped

3 pounds mussels, cleaned, debearded

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 rib celery, finely chopped

1/2 bottle (750 milliliters) dry white wine

1 cup water

10 slices smoked bacon, chopped

1/2 cup each: sliced mushrooms, whipping cream

2 cloves garlic, minced

Makes 4 servings.

Wrap the thyme sprigs and bay leaves in a square of cheesecloth to make a bouquet garni; tie with string. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add the shallots and onion. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the mussels. Add half of the parsley, celery, wine, water and bouquet garni. Heat almost to a boil; lower the heat to a simmer. Cover; cook until mussels open, 8-10 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels.

Meanwhile, place the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat; cook, turning, until bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease. Stir in the mushrooms; cook, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the cream; cook until mixture thickens and reduces by half, about 5 minutes.

Combine the remaining half of the parsley and garlic in a small bowl. Transfer the mussels to a deep platter; top with the cream mixture. Sprinkle with the parsley-garlic mixture.

Nutritional information per serving: 512 calories, 60 percent of calories from fat, 34 g fat, 17 g saturated fat, 149 mg cholesterol, 17 g carbohydrates, 34 g protein, 1,023 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.