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Roasted mussels with a smoked paprika broth

Sauce:

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
1 cup dry red wine
3 cups unsalted good quality chicken stock
2 tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
3 tbsp. garlic butter (see below)*
Salt and pepper to taste

Mussels:

2 lbs. fresh mussels
2 tbsp. olive oil

Bread (your favorite):

Enough sliced bread for 6-8 guests to have 2 to 3 slices each

Prepare Sauce: Heat the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and stir and cook until they are nicely browned. Add the dry red wine and reduce by half. Next add the chicken stock, reduce heat to medium, and simmer and reduce for approximately 15 minutes. Add the smoked paprika and stir well, making sure there are no clumps. Continue to simmer until sauce has thickened very slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then turn off flame. Add the freshly chopped herbs. Set sauce aside until mussels have roasted.

Roast Mussels: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Soak mussels in cold water approx. 30 minutes, then scrub them, remove beards and rinse them once again. In an ovenproof kettle at least 10 inches wide coat mussels with the olive oil. Roast mussels, uncovered, in middle of oven, stirring once halfway through roasting, 15 minutes, or until mussels have opened. Discard any unopened mussels.

Serve Mussels: Reheat Smoke Paprika sauce until it is fully heated. Add the Garlic Butter to the sauce; stir quickly to melt it in. Pour about 1/3 of the Smoked Paprika Sauce over the mussels, stir to coat them evenly and ladle 6 to 8 mussels each into 6 to 8 large soup bowls. Ladle extra sauce over each bowl and serve immediately with sliced bread. Makes 6-8 servings.

*Garlic Butter

1 cup butter, softened
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Stir all ingredients together until fully blended. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; up to two weeks. Makes a little more than one cup.

*Extras make excellent garlic bread and freeze well.

Serve with Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

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