Hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day. It seems like Valentine's Day ends the winter holidays, and we can officially start looking toward spring. It's been a mild winter here, but I'm ready to some simple, spicy springy dishes. This recipe for Mussels with Chorizo fits the bill perfectly. Some of my favorite times with friends have included mussels. It's so fun to gather in the kitchen around a big steaming pan and a basket of bread. I remember Tuesdays night in Madison at an all-u-can-eat Moules and Frittes night at a sweet French restaurant. So many flavors, and happy memories.
Since Around My French Table arrived, I've had my eye on this recipe. I love mussels, love chorizo, love garlic, what more is there to say? My all time favorite mussel preparation is white wine, garlic, butter and little thyme. The sauce for dipping is SO good. I've served this a many small parties and people who don't even think they like mussels love them. The FFWD recipe had stiff competition, but I felt positive given the great ingredients.
I still follow the rule that you should eat mussels during months with "r" in them. So May, June, July and August, sorry. I'm sure the mussels we get are culitivated, and it really doesn't matter. But it kind of adds to the romance of mussels. Living in the midwest, it's not exactly the seafood capital, but our fish monger does a great job and we've never had any funky mussels. Once the mussels are home, I pick through them and toss out any that aren't completely closed. Before I toss them, I give them a little tap and see it they'll close. If not, it's adios. Can't risk eating a bad mussel.
The recipe serves 4, and there are only two of us so I used about 2# of mussels.
The recipe starts with the usual cast of characters. red pepper, onion and lots-o-garlic.
My chorizo was in a plastic tube, and soft. I cut the tube in half, squeezed it into the pan, then sauteed the chorizo with the vegetables. Oh the smell! It's so easy to wrap up the rest and use it another time.
After everything melded together, in went the tomatoes and wine. I only used one can of tomatoes since there were fewer mussels, and I decided to eat them in bowl with baguette rather than pasta. I'm guessing there may have been a little more wine.
Here's are the little mussels just after putting them in the pan.
The lid went on tightly for 3-5 minutes, and ta-da! Here's they are just a few minutes later.
That's it gang! Into a soup bowl with a nice toasted baguette slices drizzled with some olive oil. We have a mussel eating tradition which is to use one mussel like a castenet and pinch the mussel from the others shells. It's fun, easy, drippy and delicious and no silverware is required. The bread soaks up the incredible sauce. Just have a big napkins standing by. At the end of the pot, we had no unopened mussels - success!
I have a plan to make both sauces and have a little mussel fest in March. We loved this recipe!