My go-to meal to impress people who are coming to dinner has always been mussels with white wine, lemon and chorizo. They seem super classy, incredibly tasty and have the illusion of being challenging to make. I’m finally giving away my secret… it’s the easiest meal ever!
These delicious steamed mussels are so easy to make and budget-friendly, yet they feel like such a luxury. The broth is mouth-watering with the perfect sweetness from the shallots and acidity from the tomatoes and a little bit of heat from the spicy chorizo.Gourmet #dinner in less than 15 min! Mussels w/white wine & chorizo http://tiny.cc/mussels-chorizo @80twentyrule Click To Tweet
The best part: this restaurant-worthy meal is ready in less than 15 minutes!
Mussels also happen to be budget-friendly, sustainable and super-nutritious. They’re a lean protein loaded with iron, vitamin B12 and zinc. Plus, there’s something sexy about slurping sauce from their shells or your spoon. I’ve made this recipe for a few dates, I’ll admit! You might too…#Mussels can build your muscles! They're packed with #protein, iron & vit B12. Learn how to make them http://tiny.cc/mussels-chorizo @80twentyrule Click To Tweet
This recipe is also naturally gluten-free and dairy-free… all you need to do is find the right bread to go with it and you’re covered. The recipe itself is also paleo, ketogenic, low carb, etc… but I couldn’t imagine eating this without the lovely bread to soak up the broth. If you try that, let me know how it goes!
How to Choose the Best Mussels
Mussels Food Safety 101
The most intimidating aspect of cooking mussels is the food safety factor. No one wants to make someone sick with their cooking! Rest assured, that won’t happen as long as you follow this cardinal rule:
Broken, cracked or open shell? Throw out that raw mussel!
This applies to when you’re picking your mussels at the market and once you get them home. If you find any shells that are open, even if it’s just a crack you can barely see, give the shell a tap with your finger and ask politely, “Hello, anyone home?” (okay, talking to your mussels is optional, tapping on them isn’t).
If the shell closes, the mussel is still alive and you’re safe to cook it and eat it.
No response and the shell stays open? That mussel is dead and there’s a risk it could make you sick. Throw it out. Don’t take that risk… it’s so not worth it.
Once you cook your mussels, the opposite is true. Are you still with me? You’re going to steam your mussels and they should open. Any that don’t open should be thrown away.
Cooked mussels won’t open? Leave ’em be.
Let sleeping mussels lie, as they say.
How to Clean and Debeard Mussels
As soon as you get your mussels home, either:
1) Get them ready to store. Put them in a big bowl with a ziploc bag full of ice on top and a wet paper towel to cover and keep them in the fridge. They’ll keep like this for 2 days.
2) Even better, get to prepping your mussels right away. I like to clean my sink, gently set my mussels in the sink and then fill it with cool water. Your mussels will spit out any sand they have inside so it doesn’t end up in your meal. Thanks, guys!
Then you scrub and debeard the mussels. Yes, these cute little guys have beards and you want to get rid of them so you don’t end up getting tickled by them. All you need to do is take a brush or paper towel and scrub any barnacles or dirt off the shells of the mussels.
To debeard the mussels, take a clean dish towel or paper towel and grab on to their beardy bits. Then pull along the length of the shell towards the hinge and then pull out. Beard removed. Now repeat a few (aka many) more times to get your mussels squeaky clean!
How Many Mussels Per Person?
A good rule of thumb is 1 pound of mussels per person. Keep in mind these little guys don’t keep well so leftovers aren’t really an option. Plus, if you’re serving with some yummy crusty bread (and I recommend you do) people will fill up quickly. If you’re a first time mussel eater you may want to try half a pound a person as an intro so they don’t go to waste.
Steamed Mussels with White Wine, Lemon and Chorizo
Do yourself a favor and when you’re making mussels, be sure to pick up a wonderful fresh baked loaf of crusty bread.
I’ve tried whole grain ciabatta, baguette, Portuguese sourdough bread and an amazing artisan loaf made with corn meal. They were all delicious vessels to sop up all of the amazing broth the mussels were cooked in.
You’ll soon learn that it’s all about the sauce!
Serve with a large green salad and you have a gourmet dinner ready in 15 minutes! You’re welcome. Be sure to add Mussels with White Wine and Chorizo to your recipe box.