PORTUGUESE-STYLE STEAMED MUSSELS

PORTUGUESE-STYLE STEAMED MUSSELS The Portuguese people of New England contributed much to New England cooking. This recipe, adapted from ``Jasper White's Cooking From New England,'' uses the traditional Portuguese sausage called chouri,co, a garlicky dry sausage, or lingui,ca, which is similiar, but thinner. 3 pounds uncultivated mussels 4 tablespoons olive oil 3 small bay leaves 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (3 or 4 cloves) 1 medium onion, in small 1/4-inch dice (1 cup) 1 small bell pepper, green or red, in small dice 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, finely chopped 1/4 pound chouri,co or lingui,ca, thinly sliced 1 cup water 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro Freshly ground black pepper

Scrub and debeard mussels. Discard any that are open. Heat olive oil and bay leaves in large pot. Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook 5 minutes until tender. Add tomatoes, chouri,co, and water. Simmer 5 minutes. Add mussels and cover tightly. Steam until shells open, about 6 minutes.

Transfer mussels to bowls, and return sauce to heat. Add parsley and cilantro, and season to taste with ground pepper. Spoon sauce over mussels and serve immediately. Provide empty bowls for shells.

Serves 4 as a main course.

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