Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My, What Big Mussels You Have

A couple of weeks ago, after our friend and gourmand R cooked us the most incredible littleneck clams we'd ever eaten, I decided that I'd have to recreate his recipe myself. This is the most wonderful way to eat mussels and clams alike, in my humble opinion.

Even better, it's criminally easy.

I made a few changes to the recipe as R prepared it, substituting mussles for the clams (the grocery had just sold out), and substituting farmer's-market-fresh swiss chard for R's escarole. I served it with fresh bread to soak up every glorious drop of the broth and some simply sauteed (and local) asparagus spears, dressed in lemon.

The flavor combinations here are exquisite: briny seafood; onion, garlic, and bell pepper; chorizo sausage; bitter greens; and beer. I don't know what else to say other than MAKE THIS IMMEDIATELY. Invite your friends over and argue and laugh over steaming bowls of this stuff.

Special thanks to (as Our Hero puts it) my "BFF forever," for brightening my month with her visit and providing excellent kitchen help to boot. Of course, thanks to R as well (without whom, none of this would have been possible).

The Best Damn Mussels You've Ever Had
1 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded (discard any with broken shells and any that do not close when shells are gently tapped)
Tiniest t. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 large sweet onion, halved again through its pole and cut into crescent-slices
1 sweet bell pepper (any color but green), cut into long 1/2-inch strips and then halved crosswise
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
3 links chorizo sausage, quartered lengthwise and chopped
3-4 cups cooking greens, washed and roughly chopped
12 oz. (one bottle) good beer (R and I used Anchor Steam Ale)
Black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven with a cover over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper and saute until just beginning to soften, 3 minutes. Stir in crushed red pepper. Add chorizo and stir, 2-3 minutes. Pour in beer and bring to a boil. Season to taste with black pepper. Add greens and cover until just wilted. Stir and then add mussels. Cover and steam until mussels open, about 5-8 minutes. Discard any that do not open. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.


Rachel said...

these look amazing!

kickpleat said...

wow, that looks awesome. i always eat mussels out but i think i've got to try my hand at making them. they look so easy and good not to!

Anonymous said...

such a wonderful meal. i've had expensive meals since i left you two days ago, but not a one compares to this one. neither the meal, nor the company. much love, your bff forever.