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Herb-Topped Mussels on the Half Shell

Yield 12 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed shells)
Most mussels are now farm-raised, so they don't require cleaning and "debearding." This dish also works with clams.

Ingredients

  • 24 medium mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup chopped leek
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup clam juice
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (1 1/2-ounce) slice white bread
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Nutrition Information

  • calories 56
  • caloriesfromfat 40 %
  • fat 2.5 g
  • satfat 0.7 g
  • monofat 1.1 g
  • polyfat 0.4 g
  • protein 4.6 g
  • carbohydrate 3.4 g
  • fiber 0.1 g
  • cholesterol 12 mg
  • iron 1.5 mg
  • sodium 140 mg
  • calcium 21 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 500°.

  2. Arrange mussels in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 500° for 8 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Remove mussels and cooking liquid from dish. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Remove meat from mussels. Reserve 24 shell halves. Discard remaining shells. Arrange reserved mussel shells on a jelly roll pan; place 1 mussel in each shell.

  3. Heat a small saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add leek; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Stir in cooking liquid, clam juice, and half-and-half; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 3 minutes). Stir in rind and juice.

  4. Preheat broiler.

  5. Place bread in a food processor, and process until fine crumbs measure 3/4 cup. Combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, oregano, oil, pepper, and bacon. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon sauce over each mussel. Lightly pack 2 teaspoons breadcrumb mixture into each shell. Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until golden.