The fiancée wanted mussels; I wanted something spicy. So I plugged in spicy mussels into the Food Network’s website and found this Bobby Flay recipe for spicy southwest mussels that had heat, limes, and a whole lotta herbs. With the weather hovering in the 80s here in Ohio, this dish could be the perfect pre-summer version of mussels.
The fiancée and I dug in expecting to be bawled over by flavor—I was particularly excited about the acidic kick of the limes—but what we found was a little less engaging. Though all kinds of flavorings had gone in, it all combined to make a bland dish. Not offensive and gross, mind you, but just kind of unremarkable. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I squeezed some more fresh lime juice on top, and suddenly all those herbs perked up, the spice kicked in, and we finished the bowl in a matter of minutes.
- 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Juice of 1 lime
- 4 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
- 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon red chile flakes
- 1/2 cup plum tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Pour the oil into a large pot and turn the heat to medium. Toss in the garlic and cook for a minute, or until slightly colored.
Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, 1/2 the lime juice, mussels, scallions, parsley, and chile flakes. Cover and steam for about 5 minutes or until all the mussels have opened. Add the chopped tomatoes and cilantro. Turn off the heat and discard any mussels that haven’t opened.
Dump the mussels into a large bowl, squeeze the rest of the lime juice on top, and dig in.