Mussels In Vermouth

This dish presents amazing flavors that, when prepared correctly, perfectly balance sweet and spicy with a delicate ensemble of textures and eye popping color contrasts. The pallet experiences, what can only be described as, a sweet zing that explodes ever so softly in a cool precise way that begs the eyes to close so that the essence of you may be transcended to some southern coastal getaway where these ingredients have collected together in a way previously not thought possible… OK, maybe I’m getting a little carried away but, Yes, it invokes that kind of description. Believe it or not, this plate is fairly simple to construct, pulling together a rustic representation of more organic times, yet filled with excitement and creativity.

Ingredients: Spicy Mussels In Vermouth For Four

  • About 4 dozen New Zealand Green Mussels thoroughly cleaned
  • 1 lb. rope of sweet sausage cut into med sized pieces
  • 1 lb. rope of chorizo sausage cut into med sized pieces
  • 1 large stalk of leek coarsely chopped
  • 1 bulb of shallot minced
  • 4 large roasted plum tomatoes than skinned and diced
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil chiffonade
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 1 ½ cup sweet vermouth
  • ¼ cup of blended oil

In an extra-large sauté pan heat the blended oil over med-high heat until it’s hot. Place the minced shallot in the heated pan and sweat them out before adding your leeks and both kinds of sausage. Brown the sausage completely on all sides and the pan should begin to glaze. Carefully pour the vermouth into the pan while stirring to deglaze the pan. Now add all the rest of your ingredients, cover and reduce heat to med-low. Allow this to simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until all of your mussels have opened up. Stir well and carefully distribute evenly into four large sized bowls.

Sides to go with Spicy Mussels In Vermouth

It would be ideal to serve this dish with some toasted crostini, 100% pure extra virgin olive oil, coarse ground black pepper, and sea salt to taste. The versatility it possesses allows this dish to easily work as an appetizer or as a main course. Serve with your choice of chilled white wines and absolutely enjoy.

Happy eating.

Image: iStockPhoto

At the age of 14 Derek got his first of many jobs in the food industry. A relatively small pizza chain with locations mainly in malls along the northeast. After learning the ins and outs from top to bottom and front to back of pizza and fast food Italian Derek expanded his culinary knowledge with 2 years of formal schooling. After Derek’s schooling he worked as an executive chef for a number of cutting edge Italian, Mediterranean, and Pacific Rim fusion eateries before shifting his focus towards a more journalistic approach. There is an unbelievable amount of curious creations out there to be explored and enjoyed and Derek intends to find and try as many of them as he can. Happy Eating… Derek Von Weber