4 pounds debearded mussels
3 medium leeks
6 slices thick-cut bacon
1½ cups dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch sea salt
Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Soak the mussels in a large bowl of water and ice cubes for 15 minutes. Trim the leeks; cut the white and light-green parts crosswise into thin rounds. Place them in a separate bowl of water and ice cubes.
Meanwhile, cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces. Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels.
Look over the mussels and discard any that are cracked or don't close when tapped. Lift them out of the water (do not drain) and transfer to a large roasting pan, spreading them evenly. Pour in the wine, then cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast (middle rack) for about 12 minutes. Discard the soaking water.
Place the bacon pieces in a large skillet; place over medium heat. Cook until crisped. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pieces to the paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the drippings in the pan.
Lift the leeks from the water, shaking off any excess moisture. Add them to the skillet, stirring to coat in the bacon fat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened. Turn off the heat.
Carefully uncover the mussels, lifting a corner of the foil farthest from you so the steam can escape away from you. Discard any that have not opened. Make a clearing and add the butter, then sprinkle the mussels lightly with salt. Toss them until the butter has melted, then divide among wide, shallow bowls. Divide the crisped bacon pieces and leeks among the bowls.
Coarsely chop the parsley and scatter on top of each portion. Serve warm, with a discard bowl for the shells. Serve with crusty bread, for dunking.
Small revelation here: A roasting pan makes a great vessel for cooking a mess o' bivalves. While they're in a high-heat oven, the sauce comes together in a skillet on the stove.
Nutrition | Per serving: 360 calories, 20 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 700 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar
Adapted from a recipe at FramedCooks.com