Jess and I are both huge fans of mussels, and so when we found some of the fresh, shiny shellfish at Pike Place Market in Seattle, we knew we had to have some for our supper that night. We had been walking around the market for some time, and in addition to the mounds of seafood everywhere, I had become quite enamored of the DeLaurenti specialty food shop — particularly the links of dried chorizo that were hanging in a case in the back. I wanted that chorizo, and I wanted those mussels, and it was pretty obvious what had to happen: Moules a la Portugaise, a dish I had first become acquainted with in Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. This recipe isn’t exactly the Les Halles version (I used butter instead of olive oil and ignored the parsley), but it turned out to be quite a hearty and filling dish with a rich broth and lots of lovely mussels and chunks of good chorizo.
Michael’s Mussels with Chorizo
- 2 lbs mussels, scrubbed with beards removed. Discard any mussels that are open and won’t close if you give them a good poke.
- 8-12 ounces dried chorizo (mild or spicy), sliced in 1/4″ pieces. Be sure to use the dried variety and not the moister stuff. You want the consistency of hard salami, not breakfast sausage.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter. We used Plugra because it was our honeymoon and Plugra is awesome.
- 1 sweet yellow onion, diced.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced.
- 2 cups dry white wine.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
In a large pot (that can be covered), melt two tablespoons of the butter and wait for it to stop foaming. Add chorizo and cook until the sausage has rendered some of its fat and darkens in color. Add the onions and cook until translucent; add the garlic and cook for three minutes more. Pour in the white wine and bring to a boil, add the chorizo, a dash of salt and pepper and boil for about five minutes. Add the mussels to the pot and cover, steaming the shellfish for 15 minutes, or until all the shells have opened. Give the pot a gentle shake every so often to stir the shellfish and coat with the wine mixture. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the last two tablespoons of butter until melted. Serve with a loaf of crusty French or sourdough bread. Enjoy!