Spicy Garlic Mussels

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Scrub and de-beard 2 lbs live black mussels. Discard any that do not close within a minute when tapped against another mussel.

In a high walled skillet or Dutch oven, heat 3 cups white wine or vegetable broth over medium high heat. Add in 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, and 6 oz tomato paste. Whisk together until everything is combined. Bring to a boil. Add mussels in. Cover and cook 5-6 minutes, until the mussels have opened. Finish by stirring in 3 Tbs butter chopped into pieces. Discard mussels that did not open.

Spoon into a shallow bowl and top with extra sauce. Crusty bread is delicious dipped into the sauce. We make French bread at home, but as Ina Garten would say, “store bought is fine!”

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Chicken Dumpling Soup

Chicken Dumpling Soup

For the soup:

Heat 4 tablespoons of EVOO in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 3 minced garlic cloves, 3 cups cubed butternut squash, 3 medium carrots thinly sliced into rounds, 2 ribs chopped celery, and 2 leeks (halved and the whites cut into thin slices). Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp ground pepper and 1/4 tsp salt. Nestle in 3 bay leaves and a bundle of parsley, sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary among the vegetables. Partially cover and cook about ten minutes, stirring once about half way through. Deglaze your pan with 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock. Reduce until almost dry, remove bay leaves and herb bundle. Add 3 cups chicken broth, bring to boil, reduce to simmer.

In a sauce pan, melt 3 Tbs salted butter over medium heat. Whisk in 3 Tbs flour until combined. Whisk in 3 cups of milk (unflavored almond or otherwise), 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp of salt, and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg. Cook until thick enough to coat a spoon then add to simmering broth mixture. Add 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken. Zest 1 lemon into mixture. Keep simmering for approximately 40 minutes.

For the dumplings:

Combine 2 1/4 cup Bisquick and 2/3 cup milk. Drop dough by spoonfuls into simmering soup. Cook 10 minutes uncovered then 10 minutes covered. If there isn’t enough space in the Dutch oven, you can cook the dumplings in another pot with 5 cups of chicken broth.

Serves 4-6.

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