Dinner Tonight: Spicy Southwest Mussels

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.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a co-founder of The Paupered Chef, a blog dedicated to saving time and money while enjoying food in every way possible. He sells wine for a living and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Dinner Tonight: Spicy Southwest Mussels

About This Recipe


  • 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


  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    Dump the mussels into a large bowl, squeeze the rest of the lime juice on top, and dig in.


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