Carrabba's copycat PEI Mussels
I loved this dish for years but last time I had it the taste was a little different, don't know if it was the cook or the restaurant itself (there were other issues at that visit), so I found a copycat and made a couple of small changes, including lessening the amount of lemon juice used, you may want more or less. I'm not by any means a fan of licorice, but you can't really taste it separately, it just adds something to the flavor of the sauce.
4 C. mussels
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped yellow onion
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. Pernod (or any other licorice-flavored liqueur, Anise, Sambucca)
1 to 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
Additional lemon wedges to squeeze if desired
Rustic crusty bread, sliced, very lightly toasted
LEMON BUTTER SAUCE:
4 Tbsp. clarified butter (you’ll need about 1 stick butter; directions follow)
4 Tbsp. finely chopped yellow onion
4 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp. dry white wine
4 Tbsp. cold butter
Clean mussels with a stiff brush under running water and remove beard if present.
Make lemon butter by clarifying butter. Heat the clarified butter and add onion, saute until nearly transparent and add garlic, cook for at least a minute or until onion is transparent. Add lemon juice and white wine, and S and P to taste. Simmer 2-3 minutes to reduce slightly. Remove from heat and swirl in cold butter until sauce is smooth and emulsified. Keep warm on a warmer burner or very, very low heat.
Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skilled over medium high heat and add mussels. Cover and cook over medium until mussels begin to open. Add onion and garlic, toss, cover, and cook for about 1 more minute. Add Pernod, basil, lemon juice, and lemon butter sauce. Return to heat and warm through for about 35-45 seconds uncovered. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
Serve in a large bowl with lots of crusty bread to soak up sauce.