Good eats: Beer-steamed mussels

DuClaw Brewing Company is known for its expert brewing -- and for its beer-friendly food. Mussels cooked in a heady sauce of tomatoes, red wine and heavily spiced Mysterium Belgian ale are aromatic and tasty -- a great snack for crisp fall afternoons. At DuClaw, Chef Duane Smith serves the mussels with warm grilled sourdough to sop up the extra juices. (Note: You can purchase the beer at the restaurant and in some local liquor stores.)

Beer-Steamed Mussels
Serves 1 or 2

 12 ounces canned whole Italian plum tomatoes
 1/2 cup onion, diced
 12 ounces DuClaw Mysterium beer (or a similar Belgian-style spiced beer)
 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
 2 garlic cloves, peeled
 2 Tablespoons red wine
 1 1/4 pounds Prince Edward Island mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
 2 slices sourdough bread

1    Place the tomatoes in a bowl and crush, using your hands.
2    In a large pot over high heat, mix the tomatoes, onions, beer, pepper, garlic and wine.
3    Place mussels in a pot, and bring liquids to a boil.
4    Continue to cook for 10 minutes.
5    Reduce heat to low and keep cooking until all (or nearly all) mussels have opened.
6    Using a grill pan, charcoal or gas grill on high heat, grill the bread for about one minute on each side. Cut each slice in half.
7    Discard any closed mussels from the pot.
8    Place open mussels and sauce in a bowl.
9    Serve with grilled bread and a bowl for discarded shells.

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