Mussels Pigalle

We got this recipe from NPR's Weekend Edition. It is from Place Pigalle restaurant in Seattle.

6 strips smoked bacon, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 oz shallots, finely diced (about 1 shallot)
2 pounds Penn Cove mussels
8 oz dry white wine
4 oz balsamic vinegar
vinaigrette dressing (see below)

1. Bring a skillet to a medium high heat. Add bacon and brown lightly. Pour off fat. Reduce temperature to medium. Add celery and shallots and saute until celery starts to sweat. (celery should be slightly crunchy)

2. Add white wine and mussels to to saute pan and steam covered, until the mussels are just opened. Remove mussels from the pan as they open. Reduce remaining liquid until it is almost dry. Add balsamic vinegar and reduce again until almost dry.

3. While liquid is reducing, arrange mussels in four bowls with hinge sides down. The open shells pointing up add to the visual effect and efficiency in soaking up all the juices.

4. Add the vinaigrette to the reduced liquid and warm only; do not boil. Pour sauce over the mussels and serve at once.

Vinaigrette Dressing

1 ounce shallots, chopped (about 1 shallot)
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 oz balsamic vinegar
12 oz olive oil

Place shallots, celery seed, mustard, and vinegar in a blender or food processor and blend until shallot and parlsey are finely chopped. Slowly add the oil to make an emulsified vinaigrette.

You can make the dressing and do step 1 ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator, although you may need to whirl the dressing in the blender one more time to re-emulsify it.

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