Tangy beer makes a good match with sweet, briny mussels. Here the brew is seasoned with a spice mixture akin to that used in a Louisiana-style crab boil. Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
12-ounce bottle of beer (not dark)
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 lemon wedges
36 mussels, preferably cultivated, scrubbed well in several changes of water and the beards scraped off if necessary
minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish
In a kettle bring the beer to a boil with the bay leaves, the cloves, the coriander seeds, the mustard seeds, the cayenne, the salt, and the lemon wedges and boil the mixture, covered partially, for two minutes. Add the mussels, steam them, covered, over moderately high heat, stirring once or twice, for 4 to 7 minutes, or until they are opened, and discard any unopened ones. Serve the mussels sprinkled with the parsley.
Serves 6 as a first course.
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