April 21, 2014

Beer-Steamed Mussels with Chorizo

I spent last week on the beach in Englewood, Florida, visiting my Aunt Nancy. My plan was to spend some time near the water, eat a bunch of seafood, and RELAX. Mission accomplished.

Corey and I explored the tiny island of Manasota Key, eating and drinking at a few local beach bars. We ate lobster rolls, steamed clams & shrimp, conch fritters, fried lobster bites, and grilled grouper. For a couple dinners, we made freshly-caught mackerel (that I prepared blackened & sautéed) & stone crab claws at Nancy's house.

On Thursday, drove about an hour to Peace River Seafood & Crab Shack in Punta Gorda to eat blue crabs, but they didn't have any that day. I had been looking forward to that meal for a month and was so disappointed. We ordered other seafoods for lunch, and it was still tasty.

But since I had blue crab on the brain, I decided to buy some at Seafood City in St. Louis (the only place in town that usually has live crabs) and cook them today. Alas, there was no blue crabs to be found there either.

I am determined to hunt down the elusive blue crab very soon and create an authentic crab boil in my own kitchen. For now, though, here's one of my favorite seafood recipes to make at home.

Beer-Steamed Mussels with Chorizo

Serves 2

1 Mexican chorizo sausage (casings removed)
1 large shallot, minced
1 1/2  tablespoons minced garlic
1 12-ounce bottle of lager or pilsner
2 pounds mussels, cleaned & rinsed *
1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons finely minced flat leaf parsley

* Note: Soak the mussels in cold water for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly to remove any sand. Pull off any "beards" and throw out any mussels that are cracked or open.
  • Cook the chorizo in a pot that's large enough to hold the mussels. Remove the cooked sausage and all but 4 tablespoons of the fat left behind.
  • Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened about 3 minutes. 
  • Add the cooked chorizo, the beer, and the mussels. Close the lid and steam the mussels until they open, about 5 minutes. Once they are open, turn off heat and ladle the mussels/sausage/broth into serving bowls. Squeeze a lemon wedge over the mussels, sprinkle with the parsley, and top off with a few turns of black pepper.  

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