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Beer-steamed mussels

At Brasserie Kouterhof in Hoegaarden, Belgium, chef Eric Cauwbarghs serves mussels steamed in witbier. At Brasserie Kouterhof in Hoegaarden, Belgium, chef Eric Cauwbarghs serves mussels steamed in witbier. (Photos by David lyon for the boston globe)
January 7, 2009
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Serves 2

The unusual aromatic qualities of Hoegaarden witbier make a significant difference in the flavor of this dish. Other wheat beers can be substituted if you also add a strip of orange rind.

2 pounds mussels
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, cut diagonally in 1/2-inch slices
2 small crowns broccoli, sliced diagonally 1/4-inch thick
1 large red pepper, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch strips
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
3/4 cup Hoegaarden witbier or another wheat beer
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1. Scrub mussels in cold water, removing any beards; discard any broken shells or shells that don't close.

2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, broccoli, red pepper, salt, and black pepper to the pan. Turn heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the broccoli begins to soften. Stir in the anchovy paste.

3. Add the mussels and beer. Cook, stirring often, over high heat, for 3 minutes or until the mussels open.

4. Pour in the cream and cook just until it bubbles at the edges.

5. Add the scallions and parsley. Stir thoroughly and cook half a minute more.

Adapted from Brasserie Kouterhof

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