When I read that Debbie thought this dish was so good it was "to die for", I knew I wanted to try it. Debbie has over 200 cookbooks and this recipe is from The Homesick Texan Cookbook.
I adapted the recipe quite a bit, adding more tomatoes and onion, adding black pepper, olive oil, and shrimp in addition to the mussels. The spiciness of the chorizo and chilies, along with the earthiness of the dark beer are the flavors that shine in this dish.
The sofrito from this recipe would make a nice bruschetta topping, and the sauce would work for any fish.
I knew I wanted to use a beer that was brewed in Montana and found Copper John Scotch Ale brewed by the Madison River Brewing Company in Belgrade. I only bought one bottle but after my gardener and I tasted it, we both wished that I'd bought more, so onto the shopping list that went!
I used frozen mussels that were huge and plump and delicious, and raw, tail-on frozen shrimp. I opted for the beef chorizo because I thought it might be less greasy than the pork, but there was no difference. Whichever one you use, be sure to drain it well after cooking. It's the flavor, not the grease, that you want.
This is a keeper recipe, for sure. If you're not a mussel lover, give this recipe a try with just shrimp, which is what I'm going to do next time - lots and lots of shrimp!
Oh, and see that bread - it's homemade sourdough. Yep, I made my own starter and then the bread. Reading so many do's and don'ts about making a starter was kind of scary! But I forged ahead and found that it doesn't have to be. So, I'm working on a blog post with instructions for a user-friendly starter and the bread, which you'll see soon. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and make this dish!
Beer Steamed Mussels and Shrimp - adapted from here
1# mussels (fresh or frozen)
1/2# raw frozen shrimp (thawed)
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 serrano chilis, seeded and diced
5 oz Beef Chorizo, cooked and drained well
1/4 c lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1-12 oz. bottle dark beer
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Clean fresh mussels in cold water, removing the beard if it hasn't already been removed.
In a Dutch oven heated on medium-low add butter and olive oil. When butter has melted, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Add the tomatoes, chilies, chorizo, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and beer.
Bring to a boil and add mussels. If using fresh mussels, cover the pot and cook on high heat for 7 minutes. Remove lid and add the shrimp. Continue cooking, stirring often until the mussel shells open and the shrimp are cooked, about another 3 minutes. If using frozen mussels, refer to the cooking times on package.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mussels and shrimp into individual bowls, discarding any mussels that didn't open. Pour some of the broth over the mussels and shrimp. Garnish with cilantro and serve with a crusty bread.