Skip the Restaurant: 10 Meal Ideas to Cook for Valentine's Day

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Moules with White Wine and Lemon-Garlic Aioli
Courtesy of Le Sel4/10

Moules with White Wine and Lemon-Garlic Aioli


  • 1 lb mussels (to ensure freshness, they should all be closed. If any are open, gently tap on a hard surface, and see if it begins to close. If it closes, it is fine, if it stays open, discard.)
  • 1 oz thinly shaved shallots
  • 1 tbsp thinly shaved garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2-cup dry white wine
  • 1 large sprig of thyme
  • 1 oz butter (European-style, if available)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp fine herbs (even mix of chives, chervil, parsley, and tarragon, finely chopped)
  • salt, to taste
  • day-old bread, optional


  1. Place a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, olive oil, and gently sweat until they are translucent (avoid browning).
  2. Add the mussels, white wine, and thyme. Spread the mussels evenly in the pan, and simmer.
  3. As the wine simmers and the alcohol cooks out, the mussels will begin to crack open; this is the sign that they are cooked. When you notice that they have all begun to crack open, add the butter, and begin gently swirling the pan so the butter melts evenly and emulsifies with the wine sauce. In the time the butter fully melts and emulsifies, the mussels should have completely opened.
  4. Finish with the lemon juice, salt, and herbs. Pour into a bowl, and enjoy. Serve with some crusty bread to soak up all the remaining sauce.

Recipe courtesy Chef Brian Lea of Le Sel in Nashville, Tennessee

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