Recipe for Midya Dolmasi (Cold Steamed Mussels Stuffed )


1 cup olive oil
3 cup onion; finely chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts; (pignolia)
1 1/2 cup rice, long grain; raw
1/4 cup dried currants
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
4 cup water
72 mussels; in their shells


In a heavy 10 to 12 inch skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it. Add the onions and, stirring frequently, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are soft and lightly browned. Stir in the pine nuts, cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then add the rice, currants, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Pour in 2 cups of the water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Set aside off the heat. Meanwhile, scrub the mussels with a stiff brush or stainless steel mesh scouring pad under cold running water. With a small, sharp knife, open them one at a time in the following fashion: Holding the mussel firmly in one hand, cut along the joint between the two shells, starting at the broadest end and leaving them hinged together at the narrow end. Carefully pry the mussel open and cut and pull off the black ropelike tufts from the shell. Place about 1 tablespoon on the stuffing mixture in each mussel, close the shells and hold them firmly together by looping a short length of string around the center two or three times, then tying it tightly in place. Arrange the mussels in two layers in a large, heavy casserole, pour in the remaining 2 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and steam for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and let the mussels cool to room temperature in the casserole. Then remove the mussels from the casserole with a slotted spoon and cut off the strings. Discard the cooking liquid. Arrange the mussels on a large platter or individual serving plates and serve chilled or at room temperature.

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