Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beer Steamed Mussels with Chorizo (and my first attempt at French Bread)

I hope by the end of the semester, I can take better pictures than this:

I almost thought of not posting this recipe because of the photos, but this was so, SO good,  I just had to.    The broth is--and may I us a cliche`--to die for!!

To be honest I was apprehensive, I'm not a huge beer lover (I like it under the right circumstances tho)  and I didn't want the mussels to just have a beer taste (if you know what I mean), there is no stock other than the beer.  Given the fact that this recipe called for a 'dark' beer made me extra apprehensive, as dark beer is so strong!    But I followed the recipe to a tea  (except for making my own chorizo--I purchased it--as it is readily available here) and I would suggest you do the same.   It's so good, as I said--TO DIE FOR.  I can't wait to make it again.

I found the recipe in the Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain.  There has been some buzz about it going around the blogging world over the past 6 months or so.  I think there was even a cook-along, which is what made my interest peak about this cookbook and I thought I'd check it out.  I'm so glad I did---as of right now it's my favorite cookbook.  That's saying a lot when it joins over  200 other cookbooks in my house.

I am a seafood lover as well as a Mexican food lover, so this recipe jumped right out at me when I was going thru the book.  I don't live anywhere near the sea, and fresh seafood is--questionable when you are land-locked, so I used frozen mussels.  A plus is that they had already been cleaned.
This recipe had a little bit of spice to it.  It's funny because the Handyman, is not a 'foodie'.  He loved the dish, but go a little tired of me saying "man, can you taste the chili?  Wow, this is SO GOOD.  The chorizo adds so much flavor, doesn't it?"   Anyway, I liked the spice that the chilies and the chorizo gave.  It
calls for  2 serrano chilies, but I used jalapenos instead. The heat factor scared me a little bit to tell you the truth. We like hot, but not so hot you can't eat it.  I already knew we loved the jalapeno flavor, so I went with that.  You can do want works for you of course.

If you like shellfish at all--you MUST try this!  I can't say enough about it--and--you must make your own bread to sop up the broth.  

I made French Bread from my friend Karen @ Karen Cooks.  Her bread is beautiful!  Mine is not.  BUT, it smelled heavenly while baking and it tasted great.   And it was my first attempt,so you have to forgive me it it doesn't look pretty.  I will be making it again with more finesse...after all, practice makes perfect, right?  (it was really, really good tho)  
 *bread recipe after the mussels*

Beer Steamed Mussels with Mexican Chorizo
from the Homesick Texan

2 lbs mussels
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound plum tomatoes, diced or 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained (I used the canned tomatoes)
2 serrano chilies, stems and seeds removed, diced  (I used jalapenos)
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 pound Mexican Red Chorizo  (I used more), drained and crumbled
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 12oz bottle of dark Mexican beer, such and Negro Modelo (which I used)
Bread for serving 

1. Clean mussels in cold water, removing the beard (the hairy patch that will be poking thru the shell's opening) by pulling on it if it hasn't already been removed.

2. In a large pot or Dutch oven heated on medium-low melt the butter and add the onions. Cooke while stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.  Add to the pot the tomatoes, serrano chilies, cilantro, cooked chorizo, lime juice, lime zest, salt, mussels and beer.

3.  Cover the pot and turn the heat up to high and cook until the shells open, about 10 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer steamed mussels into either a large bowl or individual bowls (discard any mussels that did not open)  Pour some of the broth over the mussels and serve with bread for sopping up the liquid and and extra bowl to collect the shells.

and now...
...the bread

Crusty French Bread -
from Karen Cooks (original recipe here)

2 ¼ tsp dry yeast
2 cups warm water
6 cups flour
2 T sugar
2 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
Cornmeal for dusting the pans
1 egg white
1 T cold water

Fit stand mixer with paddle attachment. Pour water into mixer bowl and add yeast. Stir to dissolve. Add sugar, oil and salt. Mix on low for 30 seconds.

Mix in 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix on medium until all flour has been incorporated. Add an additional 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix until all flour has been incorporated. Change to dough hook and knead on medium until dough is smooth and elastic, or about 8 minutes. Dough will be sticky.

Place dough in a large greased bowl and turn to coat. Cover and place in a warm place to rise until doubled, about an hour.

When dough has doubled, punch it down, cover and let rise again for 30 minutes.

Punch dough down again and knead for 1 minute on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12x9 rectangle. Roll up jelly roll fashion and pinch the seam together. Tuck ends underneath.

Line baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place bread on parchment, cover and rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Make evenly spaced diagonal cuts on top of each loaf. Beat egg white and water together and brush over each loaf of bread with a pastry brush.

Place a pan of hot water on bottom shelf of the oven. Place baking sheet with loaves on shelf above water.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from baking pans and cool on wire racks.

I am linking this to  Cookbook Sundays, My own Cookbook Countdown,  (where it just so happens to be cookbook  #50!!)  Weekend Cooking and  See You in the Gumbo.


Brenda said...

Debbie, you're crazy - your pics are GREAT! Seriously, I'm not just being nice because you're my friend, lol. We buy chorizo all the time (except we buy Portuguese chourico - same thing almost), I'm sure I'll never bother making it. This is a "must make" dish as Joe and I both love mussels and chorizo/chourico. And your bread looks great!! I want this meal....

Joy Weese Moll said...

This looks great -- and I don't even like mussels. With chorizo, though, and dark beer, I'd certainly give this a taste.

sadie607 said...

Your bread looks good. As your daughter in law you know my tastes so you must know that the soup is just not for me. how do you even eat those things.

Karen said...

Oh, yum! I'm going to have to make this. Your pictures are good! I've been making a recipe of this french bread every couple of weeks and yes, practice makes perfect in shaping them. I love that bread!

Beth F said...

I don't see anything wrong with your bread. It has a nice crumb and you said it tastes great. What more can you ask for? The mussels sound, yes, I'm going to say it: To die for!!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Oh,yeah - this is so totally my kind of dish. I love mussels, and I love the chorizo sausage with them - never would have thought of using beer though - I totally have to try this. Bread looks great too.

Thanks for sharing at Cookbook Sundays.

Sue :-)

Now this is a funny thing - you say this is to die for (and I don't doubt it for a moment), and you wouldn't believe it but the verification word to post my comment is "difor" - what are the chances?!

Michelle said...

I would like (and NEED) to take a digital photography class--sounds great. Study, study!

This looks really good and I bet it was great with French bread. Which also looks awesome. Nice texture! Would love to dip some of that bread in the sauce.

Thanks for linking this week!

Jorge Ramiro said...

While I was a young boy I use to go with my father to the beache to collect those things. It was really funny. My father worked in 4rent Argentina so every summer we had to go to the coast because of his work. He worked in the real estate business.

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