Steamed Mussels in Saffron Chorizo Broth
This Mediterranean inspired seafood dish has a lot going for it, both mussels and chorizo are cheap, and mussels are quick to cook. The chorizo and mussels create a briny, savory broth that just begs to be soaked up with bread. This is one of those meals that if it were served at a restaurant, I would be embarrassingly soaking up every drop of the broth as someone comes over to the table to attempt to clear the finished dishes (that happens to me a lot at restaurants). When steaming the mussels, toss any mussels that do not open when steamed. This means they have most likely gone bad and are not suitable to be eaten.
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded**
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces Mexican pork chorizo* (about ¾ cup)
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 medium leek, white and tender greens parts only, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium roma tomato, cored and finely diced
¼ teaspoon saffron, crumbled
3 cups fish stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
French baguette, sliced and toasted, for serving
Soak the mussels in a large bowl filled with cold water and flour. This will help to remove any excess grit from the mussels as well as plump them up.
In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the chorizo, leeks and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chorizo is cooked through and the onions are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, diced tomato and saffron and cook until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the fish stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the broth for 20 minutes.
While the broth is simmering, combine the wine and shallots in another large pot, and bring to a boil.. Add the mussels, cover and cook over high heat until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl, then add to the fish broth mixture. Cover the mussels and set them aside.
Once the broth is done simmering, turn the heat up to medium, and whisk in the heavy cream until combined. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and sugar.
Divide the mussels between bowls, and ladle the broth over the top. Serve hot with bread on the side to dip in the broth.
*Note: Mexican chorizo is a type of sausage seasoned with chili peppers and vinegar. It comes in many different varieties.
**Note: Mussels have a long shaggy beard, which must be removed before cooking. Do this by pulling the beard away from the shell. Removing the beard kills the mussel, so perform this right before cooking the mussels.