When it’s colder than the Arctic outside, all you want is to stay inside with a comforting hot meal before watching back to back episodes of Orange Is The New Black snuggled in pyjamas on the sofa. If this sounds like your average after work evening as well, then I have a new winter warmer recipe which is bound to jazz up your winter nights without contributing to your post Christmas muffin top.
My mom is a fantastic chef, so when she suggested I try making a mussel and chorizo dish in a tomato base from one of her favourite French cookbooks, I had my doubts. I haven’t dared try cooking anything with shellfish before in fear that I would end up worshipping the porcelain bowl all night – you get the gist! Turns out that mussels are not only an aquatic super-food packed with nutritional vitamins, but they are also very simple to cook. Who knew! Here is what you will need to make this recipe:
Mussels & Chorizo Winter Warmer Ingredients
– 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded (!)
– 1 1/2 pound piece chorizo
– 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 red bell pepper
– 1 medium sized onion (yellow)
– 4 garlic cloves
– a handful of thyme sprigs
– 1/2 a glass white wine
– 1 shot of Sherry
– one 4 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes and 5 medium-sized tomatoes
– sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Serves 4, prep time: 45 minutes, cook time: 25 minutes
Start by warming a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil and diced garlic. Remove all the seeds from the bell pepper and chop your pepper into small 1/4 inch pieces. Add the diced pepper into the pot.
Finely chop the onion while doing your best not to tear up (!) and cut the thyme sprigs into small pieces then add to the pot. Let this cook for 2 minutes.
Just in case you’re feeling lost already, so far your creation should be looking like this:
Next up, cut the five medium sized tomatoes into small 1/4 inch pieces and add to the pot along with the can of of diced tomatoes. Leave to sit and cook for a few minutes. Your kitchen should start to smell rather fabulous by now!
Cut the chorizo into small bite size pieces and add to the tomato and veggie medley to cook for 5-10 minutes. If you own a dog, guard your kitchen table carefully as Bogart (my pug!) adores chorizo and will do whatever it takes to get his little paws on a mouthful or two.
Now it’s time for this dish’s signature ingredient: fresh mussels. Make sure you give them a good thorough wash in cold water and remove any straggly hairy pieces with scissors or a knife- yes, mussels need a bit of pampering too!
Add the 4 pounds of mussels to the pot and stir as thoroughly as possible, so they are now covered in the tomato base mixture. Leave to cook on a low-medium heat for 10 minutes. As the mussels cook, they will slowly start to open up.
Add a half a glass of white wine for good measure – this dish is supposed to warm the cockles remember!
Add 2 shots of sherry for extra flavour. If you’re doing a dry January (congrats, you’re almost there!) then don’t worry, as the effects of alcohol are essentially cooked off. This definitely won’t make you feel woozy the next day.
Leave to cook for another few minutes and voilà, your meal is ready to be served immediately. Discard all the mussels which haven’t opened, as this is a sign you are not meant to eat them.
If you’re extra hungry then you can add pasta or a side of garlic bread to this dish, but I find it delicious and filling as it. Hope you enjoy this winter warmer as much as I do. Happy cooking and bon appétit!