Stuffed Mussels
serves 4 
1/4 cup  extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp  pine nuts
1 medium  onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup  short-grained rice, soaked in warm water
1 Tbsp  raisins
1-1/2 Tbsp  tomato paste
1/4 tsp  ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp  ground allspice
1/4 tsp  sweet paprika
pinch  cayenne pepper
pinch  ground cloves
1 Tbsp  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp  chopped fresh dill
  coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
25 large  mussels, scrubbed and debeared
2   lemons, cut into wedges
in a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. add pine nuts 
and onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden. 
drain rice and stir into the saucepan. add raisins, tomato paste, 
cinnamon, allspice, paprika, cayenne, cloves, parsley, and dill. 
season with salt and pepper. add enough water to just cover, about 1 
cup. bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, 
until the water is absorbed and the rice is just done, 8 to 10 
minutes. remove the saucepan from the heat, wrap the lid with a 
kitchen towel, and place on the saucepan. let cool. 
to prepare the mussels, place 1 mussel on a kitchen towel on work 
surface. insert the tip of a small knife between the shells at the 
nerve end of the slanted bottom. slide the knife downward and all 
around the shell until you cut into the muscle. the mussel will open 
easily, with the two halves remaining attached. repeat process with 
remaining mussels. be sure not to rush this part of the preparation or 
you will either break the shells or hurt yourself with the knife. 
stir the rice mixture with a fork. fill each mussel with a teaspoon or 
more or rice, depending on how large they are. close the mussels well. 
if the mussels do not close, tie with a small piece of kitchen twine 
to keep them closed. wipe away any rice grains sticking out, and 
arrange in 2 or 3 layers in the top part of a steamer. weigh down the 
filled mussels with a plate, and steam for 10 to 20 minutes. remove 
the steamer section, and let the mussels cool. serve at room 
temperature with lemon wedges. 
(this recipe was prepared on television by anissa helou.) 
(ID: 8652) Mirror: Wed, Feb 25, 2004

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