February 28, 2011

Mussels with Smoky Ham and Vidalia Onions

4 lb mussels
1 1/2 cup stock*
1/2 cup dry vermouth
1 bunch Vidalia onions (with greens aka Vidalia Salad Onions), chopped
1 head fennel, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup diced smoked ham

Heat the oil in a large pot with a lid. Saute the onions, fennel, garlic and ham until the fennel is almost tender. Add the liquid ingredients. Add the mussels, cover and shake until they are all opened. Serve immediately.

*ham, lobster, chicken or turkey stock would all work.

My thoughts:
My in-laws recently visited and brought some some almost mouth-puckeringly smoky ham/slab Canadian bacon. We ate it at an alarmly rapid rate but my favorite use for it was in this dish. The smoky porky flavor made for a savory, easy broth for the juicy mussels. I love buying mussels; especially on sale, these were only about $2 lb so I gluttonously bought 4 lbs and that was all we had for dinner. It is the perfect one dish meal if you actually eat the vegetables included as we do.