Friday, September 3, 2010

Show me the Mussels

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.

Printable Recipe
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!

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17 Reactions to this post

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  1. Happy Cook said... September 3, 2010 at 8:16 AM

    Indeed it is mussels season here and it is something we have been having , mussels and friets.
    Yours looks really good.

  2. Indonesia Eats said... September 3, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    I like mussels whatever the style they are cooked for, Korean, Indonesian, Thai, French as long as they are mussels :)

  3. Daniela said... September 3, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Favolosa questa zuppa di cozze!!
    Ciao Daniela.

  4. Angus Beef said... September 3, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    I love how you added Sriracha to the sauce! It sounds like a nice combination of creamy and spicy. Yum!

  5. whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said... September 3, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    We haven't had mussels in years, my husband loves them, he would love your spicy version. Thanks for sharing! Hope you had fun, I need a girls night out!

  6. jose manuel said... September 3, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Una receta estupenda con unos mejillones deliciosos. Te han quedado de vicio. Saludos

  7. alison said... September 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    great dish and a great way for mussels!

  8. aipi said... September 3, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Being a vegetarian Mussels are foreign to me..but Looking at the color n ingredients of the gravy I can tell it would have tasted great!!

    US Masala

  9. Sommer J said... September 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Sounds fabulous! One of my favorite things about this time of year is the abundance of shellfish and most of all mussels!!! You've got me on a mission! I can almost taste the boozy/spicy broth- slurp!

  10. Federica said... September 3, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    eccezionale questa zuppa!! bravissima! ciaooooooooo!

  11. Spoon and Chopsticks said... September 3, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    Great dish. Looks perfect.

  12. Pacheco Patty said... September 3, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    Yum these looks good, I don't know what I like more the mussels or the frites! I really like your recipe, the broth looks wonderful:)

  13. Monet said... September 4, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    My husband loves mussels, and I've recently begun to enjoy them too! I am going to make this for him in a couple of weeks...he will be so pleased! Thanks for sharing love!

  14. Fun and Fearless in Beantown said... September 4, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    Yum! I adore mussels too!

  15. Cooking Gallery said... September 4, 2010 at 6:55 AM

    I don't have many recipes for mussels, thanks for sharing, Lisa, the food looks great as always!

  16. ~Lisa~ said... September 5, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    Thank you all! It was outstanding. Simple, quick and delicious!

  17. Magic of Spice said... September 8, 2010 at 12:42 AM

    I love mussels, and I really love this sauce :)