Friday, June 29, 2018

Lemon Jalapeño Marinated Mussels – Definitely My First or Second Favorite Way to Eat Mussels

I might give you a different answer in the middle of February, when there’s nothing better than a hot bowl of mussels, swimming in some kind of garlicky, winey broth, but this time of year, chilled and marinated are my favorite way to go.

You can dress these anyway you want, but no matter how you flavor them, you’ll want to follow the same basic technique. By cooking the mussels with a minimum of moisture, and then reducing the liquids for the base of our marinade, we get an even more intense flavor, as well as an extra little kick of salinity.

By the way, I completely forgot to strain the cooking liquids before making the dressing, which can mean some grit, or tiny pieces of shell getting into your final product, so after everything is reduced, press the onion and juices through a mesh strainer before proceeding.

Most mussels sold at the grocery store are fairly well cleaned, but if yours aren’t, be sure to scrub well, and remove any beards. To ensure top quality, depending on proximity to the store, you can cook a couple when you get home, chill them, and then give them a test taste.

Mussels should have a fresh, sweet, mild, tastes-like-the-ocean flavor, and if yours don’t, or are gritty, or odd in any way, simply take them back, and get a refund. Anyway, that’s the worst-case scenario. The best-case scenario is what you see here, and I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 pounds of Mussels:
2 pounds black mussels
1 tablespoon olive oil for sautéing onions
1/2 onion, finely diced
pinch of salt
For the marinade:
reserved reduced cooking liquids (about 1-2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 lemon juiced
2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño
2 tablespoons champagne, rice, or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil, or to taste
extra pinch of salt if needed
red Fresno chili to garnish optional
NOTE: Serve on ice or a cold plate, and not on salt, unless it is very large grain, and won't stick to the shells.

7 comments:

Pegs Barton said...

You didn't mention that you should discard any open mussels that don't close when you tap them. They're already dead and could make you very ill. Same thing when you cook them and one or two might stay closed, discard them too. Really, really important info with mussels. No disrespect, love you and your channel.

shane gates said...

This reminds me of chargrilled oysters. Yum. Thanks Chef John.

Unknown said...

Hello Chef John! Grandma Phyllis here from San Antonio, Texas. 2 questions: you call for black mussels. Are there other types? And can you select large mussels or are they just mixed together and you get what you get? I just subscribed last week. Sooo glad I did. I saw your video on butter garlic herbed scallops, went shopping and I did ENJOY!

Jason Smith said...

Oh...My...God!!! CJ, this was genius!!!
I made this with cherrystones - DELISH!!

My new favorite bivalve recipe!

Edward said...

For spicy and cold it is hard to beat the cold, spicy chicken salad at any of the three Henry's Hunan restaurants. It is served on a bed of glass noodles (vermicelli.) Hard to stop eating it despite the burn. Their Diana pie is another winner. It looks like a flour tortilla sandwich cut into six wedges.

Edward said...

My mistake there are six Henry's Hunan restaurants.

Debzz said...

That looks so good.