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Oven-roasted mussels with garlic butter

Serves 8 as tapas, 4 as an entree

1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2shallots, finely chopped
4cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4cup chopped fresh parsley
3tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1tablespoon lemon rind
2tablespoons lemon juice
Dash of hot sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
1crusty bread, cut into 8 thick slices
2tablespoons olive oil
4pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded

1. Set the oven at 400.

2. In a bowl, cream the butter with the shallots, garlic, parsley, 2 tablespoons of the chives, thyme, lemon rind and juice, hot sauce, and salt. 3. Set the bread slices on a baking sheet. Brush them with oil. Roast them in the oven for 5 minutes, watching them carefully, or until they are golden.

4. Turn the oven temperature to 500 degrees. In a large roasting pan, place the mussels. Discard any that are open. Cover with foil and transfer to the oven. Roast the mussels for 5 minutes or until they open. Remove the pan from the oven and discard any mussels that are not open.

5. Add the butter mixture to the mussels. Shake the pan to mix it in. Add salt and pepper.

6. Divide the mussels and the juices among 4 or 8 bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining chives. Top each with a slice of toast. Adapted from Roberta Dowling

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