WHITE WINE-STEAMED MUSSELS in Herb and Lemon Grass Sauce

[Serving four]

24 mussels

3 oz butter

2 cups white wine

1 stem of lemon grass

½ red onion, diced

Juice from two lemons

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon of grape seed oil

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

Salt and pepper

Mussels abound along the Icelandic coastline, where they thrive beautifully in the cold semi-arctic waters. They were used somewhat for food in former times in some areas of the country, and nowadays they have been universally accepted as an integral part of fine cuisine.

Begin by cutting the lemon grass in half and beating it with a meat mallet to bring out the flavor. Then put the beaten grass and the grape seed oil in a pot along with the onions and sauté these a bit with the garlic. Add the mussels, squeeze some lemon juice over them, add the two tablespoons of chopped chives and finally the white wine. Turn on the heat, cover the pot and steam the mussels until they open, at which time they should be removed from the pot and one of the shells removed, leaving the fish in the other. Next, remove the lemon grass from the broth, add the butter to it and stir until it has completely melted. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the shells with the fish in them in a long and narrow dish, six shells for each serving, and pour the sauce into each shell. It is excellent to served French baguettes with this course to soak up the extra sauce on the plate. In this course a great deal depends on the sauce. The fish should be almost floating in it in the shells. They are picked up between the fingers and the fish along with the sauce sucked out of them. This may sound a bit crude, but be assured; it is fun and most certainly very satisfying.


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