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Mussels in Chilled Wine Sauce
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

4 pounds large mussels
1 cup gewertstraminer wine
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
2 sprigs of parsley
8 spears of chives, snipped
Pickled ginger, shredded

Rinse the mussels under cold running water.
Scrub them with a vegetable brush to remove
mud. Remove any that are heavy, as they
will likely be full of mud. Tap each mussel
with a spoon, and discard any that remain unopened,
as they are dead.

Fill the bottom of a glass roasting dish with ice
cubes. Place a wire rack on top.
Place the wine, garlic, onion, bay leaf, thyme,
parsley in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
Add the mussles a few at a time. Remove as
soon as they open. This should take no more
than two minutes. Twist the top shell off and
place the bottom shell with the mussel onto
the rack above the ice. Continue until all the
mussels have been steamed open. Discard any
that do not open. When the mussels are cool,
drain off excess water from ice and cover with
plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator. To retain
the flavour, do not allow the melted ice to flood

Strain the cooking liquid through cheesecloth, let
it cool then chill.

Place a deep serving platter in the freezer.

Just before serving, fill the platter with crushed ice
and arrange the mussels on top. With a spoon or
turkey baster, drizzle the cooking liquid over each
mussel. Scatter the snipped chives and the shredded
ginger into each mussel shell.


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