Step 1 - buy the mussels. I got Prince Edward Island mussels at Southern Seafood; a two-pound bag cost $5.50.
Step 2 - prep the mussels: soak them in water with a little flour in it so they'll spit out any sand they're carrying around. Ina says 1/3 cup flour to 2 quarts of cold water for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly several times. Then debeard them (that means pull off the little strings with your fingers. Throw away any that aren't fully closed.
Step 3 - prep the broth:2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots (5 to 7 shallots)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
1/2 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes, drained (4 ounces)
1/2 ounce saffron threads (found these at Fresh Market)
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup good white wine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Step 4 - cook the mussels. This is the easy part. Toss the well-drained mussels into the broth, stir well and let steam for 8-10 minutes. Discard any mussels that don't open while cooking, then pour the mussels and broth into a big bowl and serve. We enjoyed ours with a nice bagette from local bakery Au Peche Mignon.
They were delicious. Even Thomas loved them!