We love this Iberian version of steamed mussels, especially when good, strong-tasting New Zealand green-lipped mussels are at hand
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely minced
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
large pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
1/4 pound chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into very thin slices
1 cup fish stock (you may substitute water)
1/2 cup Pomi brand strained tomatoes or 1/2 cup tomato purée
dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
2 pounds mussels, cleaned, scrubbed, and debearded (about 25 large New Zealand mussels or 40 to 60 regular mussels)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over moderately low heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, garlic, and saffron, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until onion is softened but not browned. Stir in the chorizo, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
2. Add the fish stock and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Add crushed hot red pepper flakes to taste. Add the mussels, and cover tightly. Cook over high heat, shaking the pot once or twice during the cooking to move the mussels around, or stirring the mussels quickly with a large spoon, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mussels have opened. (Discard any that have not opened.)
3. Spoon the mussel mixture into deep soup bowls and serve hot with crusty bread.
We love this Iberian version of steamed mussels, especially when good, strong-tasting New Zealand green-lipped mussels are at hand; in addition to standing up to the chorizo and garlic, their color is beautiful against the saffron and tomato. There's not a lot of broth in this dish, but you'll be amazed at how rich and intense it is. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the broth. Serves 4 as a first course