The Recipes

Spanish Mussels

There is a fabulous restaurant around the corner from my house that specializes in mussels and pommes frites.  It is an institution, and I visited it long before this neighborhood was safe to come to, let alone live in.  Unfortunately, now that all of the hipsters and young hand-holding, coffee-wielding couples have taken over the neighborhood, their food quality has gone down.  So, what do I do when I want a mussels dish?  Make it myself, of course.

Make sure you discard any mussels that don't close when you tap them and pinch the two shells together.  Those lil' buddies have already gone south.

I think one of the beautiful things about shellfish is how quickly it cooks.  After a long day of work, if you're anything like me, you walk in the door, pour a glass of wine, and set about your evening.  If I'm cooking something that takes a long time, you have time to do things like tidy up and put away all the crap that you've scattered around your apartment during the busy previous days.  With this meal, make it on a day that you only have a few things to put away or just want to quickly change your clothes, because it will cook in a matter of minutes.

Spanish Mussels

Ingredients:

- 1/2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and cleaned
- 1/2 link Spanish chorizo, casing removed and cut into small dice
- 1/4 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T. paprika
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 1 T. butter
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- handful of cilantro, torn
- olive oil

Heat 1 T. of olive oil in a large pot.  Once almost rippling, add the onion.  Let it sweat for 4-5 minutes, then stir in the chorizo and garlic.  Stir and let that cook for two minutes longer.  Add in the paprika and cayenne, stir to combine and add in the butter.  Once it has melted and everything combines, add the wine, scraping up any bits from the bottom.  Drop in the mussels and cover.

Cook for just 5-6 minutes; until the mussels all pop open.  Garnish with the cilantro and serve, if desired, with some toasted bread to soak up the broth.