MOULES MARINIÈRE

· 6 lbs. New Zealand green lip mussels

· ½ cup flour

· 1 teaspoon saffron threads

· 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

· 3 tablespoons olive oil

· 4 large chopped shallots

· 1 large leek, chopped

· ½ cup minced garlic

· 1 bay leaf

· 1 small can chopped San Marzano tomatoes

· ¾ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

· ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves

· 2 cups white wine

· Salt and pepper to taste

· Lemon wedges for serving

· Toasted crusty baguette, French bread or sourdough for serving

1. Soak the saffron in ¼ cup hot water and set aside

2. Place mussels in a large bowl of water with the flour and soak for 30 minutes. Drain and scrub them and remove the beard, if they have one. Discard any mussels whose shells are not tightly shut.

3. In a large stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and leek, cook for 5 minutes and then add the garlic and bay leaf cook for 3 minutes more.

4. Add the saffron and the water, tomatoes, thyme, wine, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

5. Add the mussels, stir well, and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until all of the mussels are open. Discard any mussels that do not open.

6. Transfer mussels to a serving dish and add in remaining butter to pot. Add in parsley and lemon juice. Por cooking liquid over mussles and serve with crusty toasted bread.

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