Ahh the marvelous bounty of the sea.
There is nothing in food that mimics so closely a dip in the ocean as a big bowl of mussels. When you serve these fancy Green Lipped Mussels from New Zealand with Chorizo, you'll make a Surf & Turf that would make Forrest Gump himself hang up his Shrimp Boat Captains hat for good and go scraping bivalves off the docks.
With the American League and the National League Championships coming up this weekend and then the granddaddy of all sports events, The Super Bowl, this is a great party dish. Moule et Chorizo has all the air of a bourgeois snack but none of the dent in your wallet. I grew up on shrimp cocktail poured over a brick of cream cheese and served with crackers, which is delicious, but lacks any wow-factor.
We picked these up from Whole Foods and they weren't any more expensive than the normal mussels they always have, $4.99/pound. They are much larger, sweeter, and a heck of a lot prettier than the black ones. With their emerald lips, the spattering of parsley, and the bright orange glow of the paprika-filled Chorizo, these are a rainbow of delight.
The whole transformation from bag to table took about 20 minutes and ended up something really worth writing home about. Even the fishmonger at Whole Foods gave us "Ohh, that sounds good..." when we told him what we were up to. And don't forget, those guys are spoiled rotten! Served with really good bread to soak up the juices.
- 1.5 pounds mussels scrubbed and beards removed (New Zealand Green Lipped are nice!)
- 1 white onion, diced fine
- 1 handful of flat-leaved parsley
- .5-1 pound of Spanish Chorizo (it stays together better during cooking than Mexican Chorizo), chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 beer, a nice malty Belgian would be best, but not vital
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Black Pepper
Did I mention that you need to clean the mussels? Well, clean them again.
Over meduim-high heat, add some olive oil to the bottom of a large pot (one that you have a lid for) and add the onions, the garlic, and the Chorizo and bring to a sizzle. Give those about 2-3 minutes to soften.
Then, add the beer and the mussels and cover with the lid. Be gentle when you add them so as not to break any shells. Allow them to steam with the lid on for 6-8 minutes. Add the chopped parsley and some black pepper to taste, toss like a salad.
Transfer, again gently, to another large bowl or just eat them from the pot. Enjoy with more beer, as needed, and the nicest crusty bread you can find.
Did I mention how quick and easy these were? Great for watching football.