Mussels in White Wine

3 pounds cultivated mussels
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Olio’s Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots (5 to 7 shallots)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
1/2 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes, drained (4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon good saffron threads
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup good white wine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To clean the mussels, put them in a large bowl with 2 quarts of water
and the flour and soak for 30 minutes, or until the mussels disgorge
any sand. Drain the mussels, then remove the “beard” from each with
your fingers. If they’re dirty, scrub the mussels with a brush under
running water. Discard any mussels whose shells aren’t tightly shut.

In a large non-aluminum stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over
medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes; then add the
garlic and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the shallots are
translucent. Add the tomatoes, saffron, parsley, thyme, wine, salt,
and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Add the mussels, stir well, then cover the pot, and cook over medium
heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the mussels are opened (discard
any that do not open). With the lid on, shake the pot once or twice to
be sure the mussels don’t burn on the bottom. Pour the mussels and the
sauce into a large bowl and serve hot.