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A restaurant-quality chorizo and fennel mussels recipe you can make at home

A close-up view of the homemade dish chorizo and fennel mussels. This recipe will help you produce restaurant-quality mussels in the comfort of your home. JUSTIN LEE/THE STATESMAN

Mussels are always front and center at the dinner table when my family dines at Italian restaurants. The plump and tender meat resting in flavorful broth is practically begging to be shucked from its shell and placed into your mouth. 

It took me far too long to realize that you can make restaurant-quality mussels in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price! This recipe combines the smoky spice of Portuguese chorizo sausages with the mellow sweetness of fennel as its foundation. Tomato paste and Calabrian chili peppers add a lovely depth to a broth made with white wine and chicken stock. 

Best of all, it comes together in just 45 minutes and requires only one pot for an easy cleanup. You can serve it on its own or alongside a delicate pasta dish for a complete meal. Once you have mastered the basics of cooking mussels, you can mix and match endless flavor combinations to make whatever your heart desires! 

 

Chorizo & Fennel Mussels

  • Active Time: 30 minutes 
  • Cooking Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Serves: 1-2 (entree), 3-4 (appetizer)

 

Tools:

  • 4-quart pot with lid
  • Wooden spoon

 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup diced Portuguese chorizo
  • 1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Calabrian chili peppers
  • 2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • Parsley, chopped to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. Rinse mussels under cold running water, scrubbing with a brush until the water runs clear. If there’s a piece of net caught between the shells, pinch tightly and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel to snap it off. Pat dry with a paper towel and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a 4-quart pot.
  3. Sear chorizo for 3-4 minutes or until almost fully cooked.
  4. Saute fennel, shallots and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant. 
  5. Stir in tomato paste, smoked paprika and Calabrian chili peppers.
  6. Add mussels; gently but thoroughly stir to coat each mussel. 
  7. Pour in white wine and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  8. Set the heat to low, cover with a lid and steam for 4-5 minutes or until all mussels have opened.
  9. Garnish with parsley and lemon juice.
  10. Serve immediately with store-bought or homemade crusty bread. 
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