Heat oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic; saute 1 to 3 minutes or until light golden brown. Add clam juice and wine; simmer 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, red pepper flakes and, if desired, saffron. Simmer 2 minutes. Add mussels to skillet. Cover; simmer 2 minutes. Sprinkle paprika over fish; add to skillet. Cover; simmer over medium-low heat 6 minutes or until mussels open and fish is opaque. Discard bay leaf; ladle into shallow bowls. Serve with rolls if desired.
Dry vermouth may replace the dry white wine and mahi-mahi or pacific cod may replace the halibut.
Culinary Taste Tip
Fresh fish from the sea should have very little scent. Go ahead and use your nose. If it smells fishy or like ammonia, toss it back to the fishmonger.
Culinary Technique Tip
Mussels should be prepped and cooked on the day of purchase. Remove beards with a sharp knife and carefully scrub the entire shell with a firm brush.