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Mythia Saganaki: Sauteed Mussels with Cheese Appetizer

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Greek Mussels Saganaki

Greek Mussels Saganaki

N. Gaifyllia

In Greek: μύδια σαγανάκι, say: MEETH-yah sah-ghah-NAH-kee

This recipe is gooey with cream and cheese that it's hard to get a photo to do it justice - but it's delicious with a fabulous combination of spices and herbs. For this recipe, it's better to leave off any additional salt and let diners add their own. Mussels and feta cheese usually contain enough salt for most tastes.

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of shelled mussels (about 35 medium)
  • 10-15 fresh mussels in the shell
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of prepared mustard
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine or dry vermouth
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced hot red pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2/3 pound of feta cheese, cut into chunks

Preparation:

Prepare mussels: Clean well to remove all traces of sand. Dump into a pot of boiling water for a few minutes until shells open. Drain, rinse, and either remove mussels (for the shelled), or leave in shell for the 10-15 pieces.

In a deep nonstick skillet or frying pan, bring olive oil to medium-high heat (below the smoke point) and sauté the garlic quickly to soften. Stir in mustard and cook for 30 seconds. Add all the mussels (shelled and unshelled) and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes. When steam is rising, stir in the wine, parsley, pepper, and chile pepper (if using). When it starts to steam again, stir in the cream, and continue to stir until the mixture thickens - a few minutes. Add the feta cheese and cook for 2 minutes longer, until feta softens nicely.

Serve hot.

Yield: serves 6 as an appetizer

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