Steamed mussels with chorizo and tomatoes is not only simple, it’s open to some interpretation. Find some mussels, maybe some chorizo, white wine, and a few flavorful additions. Add chile flakes, different spices, a dab of tomato paste, maybe some fennel. You do you–that’s the whole point here.
This is a no-recipe recipe, a recipe without a hard and fast ingredients list or a lot of hard to remember steps. It invites you to improvise in the kitchen. Simplicity itself, if you can find a bag of mussels at the store.–Sam Sifton
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WHAT CAN I DO WITH LEFTOVER STEAMED MUSSELS?
In the rare event that you have leftover mussels, just shuck them and save them, along with the rest of the sauce. Add to a pasta dish, a risotto, or just devour them with a piece of garlic bread.
Steamed Mussels with Chorizo and Tomatoes
- 4 pounds mussels
- 10 ounces Spanish or Portuguese chorizo cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for serving
- 4 thick slices bread toasted, for serving
- Scrub and debeard the mussel shells as necessary.
- In a large wide pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Toss in the chorizo and sauté until it starts to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the halved cherry tomatoes and garlic.
- Cook until the tomatoes begin to blister, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the mussels and white wine. Cover the pot and allow the mussels to steam until they open, 4 to 6 minutes. (If you have mussels that haven’t opened, ditch them.)
- Garnish the mussels with chopped parsley and serve with the broth and toasted bread for sopping up the juices.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I recognized this recipe for steamed mussels with chorizo and tomatoes right away, as I’m a long-time fan of Sam Sifton and his no-recipe articles in the NY Times.
I normally make my mussels with some fresh chopped fennel or with added fennel seed, as well as an ounce or two of Pernod to kick it up a bit. But this version is quite tasty just the way it's prepared. A solid dish that comes together very quickly with minimal prep. I served the mussels with a few slices of toasted homemade sourdough and chickpea orzo salad.
Seafood and chorizo recipes are my favorite kind of surf and turf. Oddly enough, I’ve paired chorizo with all the usual suspects except for mussels. I was really quite impressed with these steamed mussels with chorizo and tomatoes; briny yet sweet, with a hint of the ocean broth. Oh, and the joy associated with mopping up that savory broth with toasted bread drizzled with olive oil…priceless!
For me, the only refining requirement for this recipe is in the “logistics”. The recipe called for a big pot. My big pot is also a tall pot. Luckily, it has a glass lid and I could see, as I had anticipated, that the top layer of mussels were closed while the bottom ones were quite open.
My total steaming time was 6 minutes but I did have to interrupt the steaming to stir the mussels and prevent the bottom ones from overcooking and becoming tough. I'd suggest using a large but shallow pot or wok and slicing the chorizo into thin rounds before crisping. Then, indulge in the finger-licking goodness and sip on the rest of the chilled Pinot or whichever wine graced your pan.
Originally published August 16, 2021