There’s something so very appealing about the aroma of mussels: The sweet smell of the sea is evident in these little crustacean morsels. The best mussels are mid-size from Prince Edward Island (PEI), Nova Scotia. They are readily available and easy to find. When buying them, ask your fishmonger to remove the beard: That little black thing sticking out of the shell. Most likely it is already done but confirm to be sure.
Serves 4 As A First Course
2 Tablespoons XVOO
½ Cup Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
4 Roasted Garlic Cloves, Smashed
1 Pound Fresh Chorizo Sausage Removed from Casing
½ Cup Madeira Wine
½ Cup Home Made Chicken Stock or Low Sodium Canned Chicken Broth
1 Cup Cherry Tomato Compote
1 Teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
3 Pounds PEI Mussels, Cleaned and Beards Removed
1 Tablespoon Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, Finely Chopped
4 Thick Slices Crispy Garlic Crostini
In a large sauté pan, large enough to hold all of the mussels, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and roasted garlic and sauté until onions just begin to soften. Add the Chorizo Sausage and sauté until sausage is cooked through. Add the wine and stock and reduce by half. Add the cherry tomato compote, salt, pepper, crushed pepper flakes and bring to a rapid boil. Lower the heat and simmer slowly uncovered for 10 minutes.
Add the mussels to the pan and toss to get the mussels and sauce incorporated. Bring to a boil and cover the pan. Reduce the heat and cook until the mussels are completely open, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Divide the mussels and sauce between 4 bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Put the Crostini on the edge of the bowl with part of it in the mussels. Serve immediately.