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Dinner Tonight: Creamy Mussels with Smoky Bacon and Hard Cider

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

As I've learned over the years, mussels are one of the most adaptable ingredients in the kitchen. You can throw just about anything at them, and they'll end up tasting great. But I'm guessing sawdust would probably taste wonderful after getting bathed in bacon, crème fraîche, and hard cider too. Luckily no wood is necessary for this recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver, which is fairly simple to prepare.

My only concern was that there'd be too much fat, and that the liquid would cover up all of the mussels' natural flavor. But the mussels manage to stand up for themselves. Of course, it helps that the cider lends some acidity, cutting through much of the fat.

Though I'm sure this tastes great any time of the year, it's especially welcome during the last cold days of February.

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Creamy Mussels with Smoky Bacon and Hard Cider »

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