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Mussels Bouillabaise

• 2 T. oil

• 1 shallot, sliced

• 7 cloves garlic, smashed

• red pepper flakes, to taste

• 1 tsp anise seed

• ½ fennel, sliced

• 1 carrot, small diced

• 1 celery rib, small diced

• ½ C .white wine

• 4 C. fish stock

• 2 C. san Marzano tomato puree

• 1 T. hot sauce

• Saffron, generous pinch

• Salt and pepper, as you go, always.

• 2 # mussels

• 3 T. chopped parsley

• Lemon wedges

• Toasted Baguette

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the red pepper flakes and anise seed, and toast for 20-30 seconds.

2. Add the fennel, carrot, and celery. Saute until the vegetables are soft 7-10 minutes.

3. Deglaze the pan with white wine and let the alcohol cook out. Next add the fish stock, tomatoes and hot sauce and saffron. Bring to almost a boil. When almost at a boil, reduce to a simmer 10 minutes, covered.

4. Add the mussels and simmer gently, covered until they are cooked. Check for final seasoning. Garnish with the parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and toasted baguette.

5. For the baguette – cut into thin slices, rub with olive oil and bake in a 400 degrees oven until crispy 5-7 minutes.