Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chile-Steamed Mussels with Green Olive Crostini

(Adapted from Mario Batali)

I'm going to be completely honest here and say that if you are an animal or creature lover at all, this is not the dish for you.

I had NO IDEA that the mussels I purchased would be ALIVE when I brought them home.

The guy at the store weighed them out for me, put them in a package with plastic wrap, and proceeded to poke holes in the plastic while explaining that "the mussels get claustrophobic, so you'll need to take them out of the package and put them on ice when you get home."

The personification of shellfish makes me very uncomfortable.

I was afraid of seeming like a rookie chef, so I said nothing, brought them home, and then tried really hard not to name each one that opened and closed when I touched its shell. 

After a whole day of mildly panicking, I realized that I had to cook them, or they would die anyway. ( It's not like I could set them free in the ocean....I live in the Inland Empire.)

After all of that, I feel a little guilty saying that they were damn delicious.

Serves 4


  • 1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeƱo, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 habanero, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds black mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Green Olive Crostini


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, jalapeƱos and habanero. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the wine and boil over high heat for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the mussels, cover and cook, shaking the pot a few times until the mussels open, about 5 minutes; discard any that don't open.
  4. Divide the mussels and broth among 4 bowls; sprinkle with scallions and serve.

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