Jasper White, whose Summer Shack Restaurants are New England favorites, and whose cookbooks are perennial bestsellers, is the definitive expert on clams, mussels and lobster. Chef White offers this classic recipe for mussels steamed in wine and herbs. (Note: If you use wild mussels rather than farm-raised, you will need to scrub and debeard them first.)
Wine recommendation: The wine of choice is the same one used to cook the mussels, if you can spare the two cups. Chef White recommends a crisp, somewhat acidic wine. A medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc, such as Tramin 2003 Sauvignon from Italy, fits that bill, as would a quality Pinot Gris.