Easy dinner recipes: Love mussels? Tempting ideas in about 30 minutes

Three simple recipes for mussels on a busy weeknight

Love mussels? They're a great option for a busy weeknight: simply pick up a bunch and steam away with any of a variety of flavors. These tempting options come together in about 30 minutes. Don't forget a loaf of crusty bread to sop up all the flavorful juices!

Giuseppe's mussels in sambuca: Chef Giuseppe DiFronzo was happy to share his recipe for this simple dish. Mussels are steamed in an flavorful blend of fresh fennel, garlic, leeks, cream and white sambuca, the anise-flavored Italian liqueur. He recommends serving the mussels alongside plenty of crusty Italian bread and a cold glass of Vermentino or Albarino.

Black mussels with fennel salt: Writes our own S. Irene Virbila, "At Jar in Los Angeles, chef Suzanne Tracht gives an Asian inflection to steamed black mussels. She serves a bowl heaped with the sweet plump mussels in the shell and tops them with an emerald thatch of 'water spinach,' or ong choy, a leggy Asian green. The idea is to swish the sweet plump mussels through the juices at the bottom of the bowl and eat each one with a sprinkling of grassy fennel salt made from fleur de sel, toasted fennel seed and lemon zest. Divine."

Hurley's grilled mussels with red wine and chorizo: The mussels in this dish are first grilled to open them, lending light smoky notes to the shellfish. They're then tossed with a flavorful blend of chorizo, a rich wine reduction, tomatoes, parsley and butter. Hungry yet? You can find the recipe below.


Total time: 30 minutes | Serves 2

Note: Adapted from Hurley's Restaurant & Bar in Yountville, Calif. Serve the dish with plenty of grilled bread to dip into the broth.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
4 ounces Spanish chorizo (pre-cooked), chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1 pound mussels
1/4 cup chopped, peeled and seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, diced
Salt and pepper

1. Heat a grill over medium-high heat until hot.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, shallots, garlic and chorizo and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are softened, 4 minutes. Stir in the red wine and reduce it by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Place the mussels in a wire basket and place over the grill just until they begin to open.

4. Transfer the mussels to the saute pan and toss with chorizo and reduced wine. Heat the pan over high heat until it begins to boil. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley and butter, and season with a pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper, or to taste.

5. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Each serving: 721 calories; 25 grams protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 60 grams fat; 25 grams saturated fat; 135 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 956 mg sodium.

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