My love for Mussels dates back to when I was in college. There was a little restaurant in the city of Richmond, Virginia that served up the most delicious mussels. I can't recall the name but the broth was so flavorful and I was instantly in love.
And not too long ago, a few moms and I were able to indulge in a moms night out. We decided to try Mannequin Piis. No, not the famous Brussels Landmark, although that would have been a very nice moms night out. But a very quaint restaurant located in Olney, Maryland of all places. They had a list of different mussel recipes served in their own Mussels Pot. I was very impressed with the one I chose. It was called the "Red Devil" a spicy broth that reminded me of a spicy Korean fish soup but with more flavor. All I could say was WOW.
Just imagine 1 kilo of Mussels with Pommes Frites (french fries) with a side of, you guessed it, mayonnaise for dipping! And of course some bread to soak up the deliciousness of the broth.
I tried to recreate the broth as close to it as possible. But then I realized, I only had it once and I vaguely remember all the flavors. keke. But what I do remember is the spiciness and the tad bit of sweetness to the broth.
On the menu, the "Red Devil" calls for celery (forgot to buy, oops), onion, herbs (not sure which ones, I had basil), garlic (of course), horseradish (nope, didn't have that either), harissa (I used my trusty Sriracha Sauce) & beer (I had white wine this time, d'oh).
I must say though. The flavor combination was mighty tasty. And this one's for the adults.
1-3/4 lbs Fresh Mussels
2 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, Chopped Small
2 tbsp Minced Garlic
1/4 Cup Chicken Broth
1/3 Cup Half & Half or Heavy Cream
1/4 Cup Wine
2-3 tbsp Sriracha Sauce
1 tbsp Sugar
1 Small Tomato Diced
1/2 tsp Salt or to taste
10 Large Basil Leaves for a Chiffonade (which was a term and technique I learned while cooking the Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass Recipe and is just a fancy way for cutting the leaves into thin strips)
1. Cleaning your mussels. Please click here for step by step photos and instructions. Discard any opened mussels. Mussels should be closed tightly before cooking. If you leave the mussels out to sit for a bit, the opened mussels close. So give it some time before chucking the opened mussels.
2. Heat a large stainless steel pot on medium heat and add the butter, olive oil and onions and cook until onion is tender, 3-5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken stock, half & half, wine, tomatoes, Sriracha Sauce, sugar and salt and bring to a boil.
3. Add mussels stir, cover and cook on medium heat for about 6-10 minutes depending on the size of the mussel. Gently shake the pot back and forth with lid on for even cooking. Check to see if the mussels are opened and discard any that did not open.
4. Pour into a large bowl, sprinkle the basil Chiffonade and serve with a crusty bread like the French Baguettes. I made another batch and it went perfectly with these mussels.
The sliced French Baguettes are perfect for dunking in the broth. Its oh so good. Enjoy!