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Recipe Summary

Yield:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Put the mussels in a large nonreactive saucepan, cover tightly and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring once in a while. (No liquid is needed; the mussels will release plenty of juices as they cook.) When all of the mussels have opened, after 8 to 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat.

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  • Transfer the mussels to a bowl. Strain the juices into a clean medium saucepan through a sieve lined with a moistened paper towel; you will have about 1 2/3 cups of mussel juices. Remove the meat from the shells. If you wish, pull of and discard the dark, frilly sinew that encircles each mussel.

  • To finish the sauce, add the onion, celery, scallions and garlic to the reserved mussel juices and boil gently for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, knead the butter and flour to a smooth paste. Whisk the paste into the boiling liquid. Add the parsley and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking until the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and thyme, mix well and cook over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes.

  • Generously butter four 1 1/4-cup custard dishes, bowls or ramekins. Reheat the mussel sauce and add the cooked mussels to it.

  • Spoon 1/2 cup of the hot rice pilaf into each custard dish. Press the rice against the side of the dish with a spoon to make a nest in the center. Spoon 10 mussels and 3 tablespoons of their sauce into each nest and cover with another 1/2 cup of rice pilaf. Press on the rice with the back of a spoon to pack it down slightly. Invert the molded mussel pilafs onto warmed serving plates; they will slide out easily. Spoon the remaining mussels and sauce around the pilafs and serve at once.