Stuffed Mussels with Saffron
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Credit: Erol Kanmaz, CEC, WCC, culinary instructor, Northwest Culinary Institute, Vancouver, Wash.
Sizzle, Summer 2014
1 pinch saffron
½ cup hot water
½ cup olive oil
1 T. pine nuts
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 cup rice, soaked, rinsed
4 T. currants, soaked, rinsed
Salt, to taste
1 T. white sugar
1 T. black pepper
1 T. allspice
1 T. cinnamon
¼ bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
¼ bunch mint, finely chopped
¼ bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
24 medium-sized mussels, scrubbed, rinsed, trimmed
1 cup water
2 lemons, cut in wedges
1. Soak saffron in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Reserve water.
2. Heat olive oil in large, wide saucepan. Saute pine nuts until golden-brown; add onions to caramelize. Add rice; continue to saute.
3. After 6-7 minutes, add, in order, currants, salt, sugar and saffron-infused water. Simmer until rice absorbs liquid.
4. Remove from heat. Add black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, dill, mint and parsley. Stir; allow to stand until all flavors blended.
5. Stuff mussels with filling.
6. Layer stuffed mussels in large saucepan; add water. Weigh down mussels by placing heatproof plate on top. Simmer on low heat 20-25 minutes.
7. Once stuffed mussels have cooled, remove from pan. Arrange on serving dish. Serve with lemon wedges.
Note: Stuffed mussels are popular in Turkey, yet some cities forbid selling mussels. The reason is unclear.
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