Moules À La Marinière
cornmeal, for soaking mussels
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup minced shallots
½ bay leaf
4 parsley sprigs
1/8 teaspoon thyme
pinch black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 pounds (about 3 quarts) mussels, scrubbed
parsley leaves, minced, for garnishing:
Baguette: 1 (cut into ½-inch slices, drizzle some olive oil, and toast them for some time!)
Soak mussels in cornmeal/water for at least an hour to help remove any grit or sand. Discard water and cornmeal, rinse mussels.
Place all ingredients except the mussels and baguette into a large Dutch Oven or similar pan. Boil for 2-3 minutes to evaporate the alcohol and reduce the volume slightly.
Add the mussels to the pan. Cover tightly and boil quickly over high heat. Frequently grasp the pan with both hands, your thumbs clamped to the cover, and toss the mussels in the pan with an up and down slightly jerky motion so the mussels will change levels and cook evenly. In about 5 minutes the shells will swing open and the mussels are done.
With a big skimmer, dip the mussels into wide bowls. Ladle the liquid over the mussels, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with the baguette on the side for dipping.