Served on one of the feast days of the medieval calendar
- 2 kg (4½ lb) fresh mussels
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, very finely chopped
- 2 leeks, very finely sliced
- 40 g (1½ oz) ground almonds
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon each ground saffron, cloves, salt
- 4 grinds of black pepper
- 450 ml (15 fl oz, 2 cups) milk
- 1 – 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- a few slices of lemon
- 150 ml (⅔ cup) white wine
- Clean mussels thoroughly, removing beards, and discarding any which do not close when tapped.
- Bring 5 cm water to the boil in the bottom or a large pan with a few slices of lemon and 150 ml (⅔ cup) white wine.
- Drop the mussels in, turn the heat up to maximum, cover with a lid and cook briskly for 3 – 4 minutes or till all of the mussels have opened.
- Discard any that do not.
- Drain the remaining ones, remove from their shells and reserved the juices.
- Meanwhile, cook the onion slowly in the oil till it is soft, but not coloured.
- Put the leek with the almonds, spices and the mild in a pan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for a few minutes then add to the shelled mussels along with the onions.
- Bring all to the boil and simmer together for a few minutes.
- Add the wine vinegar to taste and further seasoning if needed.
- Thin the sauce with some of the reserved cooking liquid, if you think it needs it.
- Serve the broth in bowls with plenty of fresh brown bread.
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