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Smoked Chile Mussels Recipe

Smoked Chile Mussels
Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Eddie Lyons gave us this recipe that was a favorite dish on his menu when he was the chef at the Galisteo Inn. It was inspired from the mussels he used to eat at the beach every day when he was staying in San Sebastian, Spain.

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 poblano or New Mexico green chile, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons garlic, coarsely minced
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle seasoning
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons smoked paprika (mild or hot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds black or green lipped mussels, rinsed and de-bearded
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons capers (optional)
  • 2 ounces Pernod or Ouzo
  • 2 cups dry but fruity white wine
  • 3/4 cup fish or chicken stock or water
  • 4 ounces small cherry or pear tomatoes, halved (about 10 tomatoes)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat a large skillet or saucepan over high heat. Add olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and add the diced chiles, pepper, and onion. Sauté until color begins to develop, add the garlic, and cook until slightly browned.
  2. Add the chipotle seasoning, paprika, and cumin, and stir briefly; add the mussels and optional capers.
  3. Stir well and sauté for about 1 minute; then deglaze with the Pernod, followed by the wine (be careful, as the alcohol may flame).
  4. After the flames subside, add the stock or water, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Cover and steam over high heat until the mussels open (about 4 to 5 minutes).
  5. Add the cilantro and butter, and mix well over the heat until all of the butter is incorporated. Discard any unopened mussels, adjust the seasonings, and serve.

Beverage pairing: Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand. When a recipe calls for a “dry but fruity white wine,” as this one does, it’s a good bet the wine will also work with the dish. Such is the case for this New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which is bright, stony, and full of life. It will enhance the mussels without stealing the show.

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.