Sustainable Mussels w/ Fennel and Chorizo

Speaking of sustainable food from the sea, mussels are a plentiful and renewable resource. At least I think they are renewable.. Mr Mussel meeting Mrs Mussel and lots of little mussels appear…  Here’s a spicy way to prepare these little jewels.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed, debearded and patted dry (discard any that won’t close)
  • 3/4 cup white wine like Duck Walk Windmill White
  • 4 ounces dried Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika – hungarian
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Toasted crusty bread


Grind the fennel seeds ( I use a spice mill) and place in a food processor. Add the oil, shallot, garlic, paprika and coriander. Process until the mixture is ground and paste-like.

Transfer the spice mixture to a heavy large pot. Cook over medium-low heat until the garlic and shallots no long smell raw, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Add the mussels and cook without stirring until the shells on the bottom begin to open, about 3 minutes. Add the wine. Cover the pan, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the mussels open, about 4 minutes.

Add the chorizo and butter, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the butter is incorporated. Season the sauce with salt if desired. Toss the mussels in the sauce. Divide the mussels and sauce among 4 shallow bowls, discarding any that did not open. Serve with the toasted bread.