Guajillo Chili Mussels are here for fantastic Friday night dinner!
A few years ago, I had mussels that changed my life. They were from 112 Eatery here in Minneapolis, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. Unfortunately they’re no longer on the menu, which meant I had to attempt to come up with an at-home recipe that was as close as possible to those.
I’ll be honest, 112 Eatery is one of the most amazing restaurants in the cities, and recreating one of their recipes is near impossible. But I did my very best, playing with the flavors I remember (guajillo chilis, tomatoes, cilantro!) and adding a few of my own favorites (like garlic, ginger, saffron!).
The guajillo chiles bring a subtle spice with a deep rounded out flavor to the broth of the mussels – balanced out with acidic tomatoes, soulful saffron, and my favorites: garlic and ginger.
Have you worked with dried chiles before? For this recipe, I reconstitute the chilis in a bit of stock, after I’ve removed the seeds and sliced them into rings. Then, puree them into a paste, and the tomatoes.
Of course, mussels wouldn’t be mussels without a little wine, so go ahead and make sure you grab your favorite, because you’ll want to have a glass while these are cooking, and more importantly while eating.
The BEST part about mussels is that they’re so easy to make. They basically take no time at all. They’re actually very sustainable, and a cheaper seafood option that feels totally fancy and special!
As a single lady myself, I love that I can make a nice meal, have a glass of wine, and not spend a fortune! I portioned this recipe out for two – if you’re really hungry one could definitely eat it in a sitting – but nonetheless, it’s easily doubled for more!
Guajillo Chili Mussels
- 4 dried guajillo chiles
- 1 cup + 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon ginger finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Small pinch of saffron
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 pound fresh mussels in shell cleaned and debearded
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- Bread or french fries for serving
- Optional: lime or lemon wedges to squeeze
- Microwave whole dried chilis for approximately 15 seconds until pliable. If needed, microwave 15 additional seconds. Cut the tops of the dried chilis, and create a split down the side using kitchen shears. Remove seeds and any large ribs. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a microwave safe bowl with 1 cup vegetable stock. Microwave for 4-5 minutes, checking halfway through for "tenderness".
- Using a food processor, blend together the peppers and 1-2 Tablespoons of the stock it cooked in (keep the rest! you'll use it later). Puree until a paste forms. Add the tomatoes, with some of the liquid drained. Puree until mixed. You may want to strain out the sauce if there are still tough skins, but I generally just leave it.
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add finely chopped ginger and garlic, salt, and saffron. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Add white wine. Add tomato and chili mixture, stirring to combine. Add the remaining vegetable stock in which the peppers cooked in. Simmer for 3-4 minutes; taste for salt and pepper levels, adjusting as needed. Add the additional 1/2 cup of vegetable stock to thin out the sauce - add more depending on personal preference for mussel broth (it will be a little on the thicker side).
- Add the cleaned mussels to the pot, cover, and cook for approximately 5 minutes, if some mussels are still closed at this point, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. At this time, discard any unopened mussels.
- Top with cilantro and serve with bread to sop up the broth. Finish with a lime or lemon squeeze if desired.
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