Mussels seem fancy, but they’re secretly cheap and easy (not that your date needs to know that). This version has Mexican undertones, but you can use whatever you have on hand: white wine instead of the beer, cubed Spanish chorizo instead of the fresh Mexican stuff, and any herb, really, in place of the cilantro.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 (12-ounce) bottles Mexican beer, such as Pacifico
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
- 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
- Warm, crusty bread, for serving
- Warm a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil’s hot, add the chorizo, onion, garlic, cumin, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently to break up the chorizo, until the onion is soft and a little golden and the chorizo is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the beer and butter, increase the heat to medium-high so that everything comes to a boil, and cook for 1 minute, just to get the beer to reduce a little. Add the mussels, cover the pot, and cook until the mussels open, 5 to 8 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.
- Divide the mussels among four bowls and taste the broth that’s left behind; adjust the salt if necessary, then ladle the brothy, oniony chorizo mixture over the mussels. Sprinkle with cilantro and hot sauce (if using) and serve with crusty bread.