Cooking Light (April 2013)
The truth is we've never really met a flavor of mussels (by which we mean the broth poured over them) that we didn't like.
White wine with garlic; fennel with chorizo; Thai spices and peanuts -- you name it, we've enjoyed it.
So we definitely wanted to try out these Smoky Poblano-Cilantro Mussels from Cooking Light.
One of our favorite recipes of 2011 was a pot of Grilled Mussels with Herb Butter. We loved how the smoky flavor of the grill paired with the mussels' natural briny flavor, and the parsley-infused butter sauce was a great complement.
These mussels are smoky, too, but instead of getting that flavor from the grill, these mussels get it from smoked paprika and a charred poblano chile. The broth here is essentially a classic broth of white wine, garlic and shallots, but jolted with some unexpected flavors like cilantro and lime juice.
How was the result? We'd say good but not great. The mix of flavors is nice. The cilantro, especially, was a really delicious addition. (Although truth be told, we weren't sure of the point of the clam juice. Maybe to accentuate the brininess of the mussels? But we couldn't discern a real difference in the final broth)
All in all, though, it seemed to us, well, a bit timid. Maybe, given the name of the dish, we were expecting something with a little more pizzazz. This broth was tasty, but it didn't have much punch.
If we made this again, we'd definitely add more paprika and lime, and probably another diced chile.
But we likely won't be making this again. As we said, it was fine. But there are many more mussel variations to try!
Mussels in Smoky Poblano-Cilantro Broth
Cooking Light (April 2013), recipe by Tiffany Vickers Davis
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Nutritional information available at CookingLight.com
Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: about 12 mussels and 1/4 cup liquid)
Total time: 30 Minutes1 poblano chile
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
48 mussels (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and debearded
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Preheat broiler to high.
2. Place chile on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 3 inches from heat for 8 minutes or until blackened and charred, turning after 6 minutes. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel, and discard skins. Chop chile.
3. Combine chopped chile, wine, shallots, 3 tablespoons cilantro, salt, and next 4 ingredients (through clam juice) in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Add mussels; cover and cook 3 minutes or until shells open. Remove mussels from pan with a slotted spoon. Discard unopened shells. Keep warm.
4. Bring wine mixture to a boil over high heat; cook until mixture is reduced to 1 cup. Stir in lime juice and butter. Pour liquid over mussels; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve immediately.