Seriously, these may be the best mussels you'll ever have.
The key to a good bowl of mussels is that they MUST be fresh and they must be alive. For the freshest, live mussels - don't ever eat mussels that were dead before you cooked them - I recommend going to a specialty fish market. It's certainly possible to get your mussels from a supermarket, but I have always had the best luck at a fish market. How do you know that the mussels are still alive? When you get them home, many of them will probably be open. Tap the shell of the mussel and it should slowly close itself up. Also, most fish markets and supermarkets will clean and debeard the mussels for you. This must be done before cooking and eating your mussels. Finally, always cook the mussels the same day you buy them.
This is the original recipe as was seen on FoodNation with Bobby Flay. I've tweaked it over the years to satisfy my tastes and I definitely like my version better than the original. This one is a keeper. The original recipe calls for dry white wine or beer, and I've used many a good dark beer in my mussels before. However the dry white wine I used this time worked perfectly. The wine is a 2007 Ken Forrester Petit Chenin (100% Chenin Blanc) from Stellenbosch, South Africa. It was great in the mussels and it drank great with the mussels.
Scott's Spicy Northeast Mussels
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7-8 minutes
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 shallot diced
1 jalapeno diced
2 tablespoon red chili flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded (just rinse if already cleaned at the market)
Heat a large, deep sauté pan or stock pot over medium heat and the olive oil and sauté the garlic, shallot, jalapeno and chili flakes for a couple minutes. Be VERY careful not to burn the garlic or the chili flakes; burnt chili flakes taste very acrid. Add the wine , lime juice, scallions, parsley, and mussels. Turn the heat up to high, and steam for about 5 minutes, or until the mussels are open. Using a ladle, spoon the mussels and the broth into bowls. Throw away any mussels that didn't open. Serve with grilled or toasted crusty bread rubbed with fresh garlic. Enjoy!
Note: If you don't like it spicy, replace the jalapeño with half a green bell pepper and reduce the chili flakes to 1 tablespoon or less. Try to use at least a teaspoon of chili flakes, they add great flavor.