midye dolmasi – stuffed mussels

15 large mussels
1/2 cup raw rice
2 large yellow onions
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
2 Tbsp. currants
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper

As an hors-d’oeuvre, allow three or four of these delicious morsels for each person.

Prepare mussels by scraping shells thoroughly and washing. Pry shells open without disturbing the hinge. Clean by removing the black part of the mussel and the beard. Rinse well. Soak in cold water while preparing stuffing. Fry onions in olive oil until soft. Add rice. Cook together gently, covered, for 19 minutes. Add boiling water and rest of ingredients. Continue cooking, covered, until liquid is absorbed. When cool, stuff each mussel with the rice mixture and tie shut with string. Place the mussels in layers in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and place a pIate or small lid immediately on top of the mussels to hold them securely in place while they are cooking. Put a lid on the saucepan. Cook over a very low fire for half an hour. Drain, but leave mussels undisturbed to cool. Remove strings. Serve well chilled, with lemon juice.

From “Food from the Arab World” by Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge

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