Recipe for Spicy Steamed Mussels

Let’s be honest, I’m no Julia Childs in the kitchen, but in the last year, I’ve been trying to expand my culinary skills beyond quesodillas and pasta dishes.  For at least the last month, I’ve been craving a huge bowl of mussels, and I decided that Friday night was the night.  I headed to Whole Paycheck Foods, and came home feeling confident. I popped open some white wine, tied on my cute ruffled apron, and was dancing about in the kitchen when Kris came home.

“Don’t you think that mussels might be a little… advanced?” he said.  WRONG WORDS my friend.  Kris was banished to the living room while I bolstered my confidence with another glass of wine.

Fast-forward 30 minutes and we were feasting on one of the best dinners I have ever had – trust me when I say that this is one of the EASIEST and MOST IMPRESSIVE meals I’ve ever made!  Extra bonus – its fast, and it doesn’t require too many dishes (a total bonus in my itty bitty kitchen).

Spicy Mussels in a White Wine Sauce:


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
    1/2 onion, thinly sliced
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 teaspoons fennel seeds
    1 teaspoon dry crushed red pepper
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup dry white wine
    2 slices lemons, 1/4 inch thick
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    2 1/2 lbs fresh mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded
    1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • Instructions:

  • – Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat
    – Add onion, garlic, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and salt; sauté until onion is light brown, about 4 minutes
    – Add wine, lemon slices and 1/4 cup parsley; bring to boil
    – Add mussels
    – Cover pot and cook until mussel shells open, stirring once to rearrange mussels, about 6 minutes; discard any mussels that do not open
    – Using slotted spoon, transfer mussels to large shallow bowl
    – Boil broth in pot until reduced to 1 cup, about 3 minutes; season to taste with pepper
    – Toss in tomato chunks for the last 30 seconds of heat
    – Pour broth over mussels
    – Sprinkle remaining parsley over
  • I served the mussels with some rustic sourdough bread (to soak up the delicious sauce), some grilled artichokes, and a really simple linguine pasta (just boil pasta, drain, add butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh flat leaf parsley, red pepper flakes, and fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese).

    I wish I could take total credit for this recipe, but it came out of an old Gourmet Magazine.  Stay tuned for more adventures in my kitchen.  Bon Appetite!

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