Mussels in garlic sauce with the intriguing smoky flavor of chorizo sausage was one of the dishes I discovered while researching my new book, "The Flavors of the Florida Keys."
I enjoyed this dish while sipping a cool glass of white wine and soaking in the glorious ocean view on the terrace of the Alma Restaurant at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key. What a treat.
You can bring home these Keys flavors with this simple recipe. Chorizo is a pork sausage made with smoked paprika. Any type of smoked sausage can be used.
The commercially raised mussels available today are easy to clean. Just wash them in cold water and scrape off the beard or thin hairs along the shell. (The mussel uses them to attach itself to rocks.)
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BREAKING IT DOWN
Complete the meal: With a green salad tossed with reduced-fat and -sodium vinaigrette. Each serving has 474 calories with 37 percent of calories from fat.
Wine suggestion: This fab dish cries out for a flowery, steely Spanish albarino.
Helpful hints: Any red grape or cherry tomatoes can be used.
Save on salt: Look for lower-sodium bottled clam juice.
Shopping list: 2 pounds mussels, 1 small package chorizo sausage (2 ounces), 1 bottle clam juice, 1 container red grape tomatoes, 1 container yellow grape tomatoes, 1 lemon, 1 bag ready-to-eat salad, 1 whole wheat baguette.
Staples: Garlic, butter, reduced-fat, low-sodium vinaigrette dressing, salt, black peppercorns.
Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks including her newest, “The Flavors of the Florida Keys” and “Mix ’n Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes.” Visit Linda on her web page at www.DinnerInMinutes.com or e-mail her at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com.
Mussels With Chorizo in Garlic Sauce
2 pounds mussels 1/2 cup chorizo sausage cut into small cubes (2 ounces) 3 medium garlic cloves, crushed 1/2 tablespoon butter 1 cup bottled clam juice 6 red grape tomatoes 6 yellow grape tomatoes Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 lemon cut into wedges 1/2 whole wheat baguette
Rinse mussels under cold water. Gently tap any open ones against the counter. If they do not close, discard them.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mussels, chorizo, garlic and butter. When mussels start to open (about 3 minutes), add the clam juice and tomatoes. Cook 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide mussels and sauce between 2 large soup bowls, discarding any that do not open. Add lemon wedges to each plate. Serve with baguette.
Per serving: 447 calories (37 percent from fat), 18.3 g fat (6.7 g saturated, 7.3 g monounsaturated), 65 mg cholesterol, 27.6 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 4.9 g fiber, 1,228 mg sodium.