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Steamed Mussels with Spicy Red Pepper Aioli

Thank you Anne Burrell… you are brilliant and I love your food.

Steamed mussels have become a favorite of mine. I first had them about 12 years ago at an office party in Ft Lauderdale. They were swimming in butter, wine and parsley – and I loved them…. I was not yet the Foodie I’ve become so it was several years before they came back into my life. They are beautiful little creatures with their glossy black shells and surprisingly very affordable ($5-$6 pound). If serving as the main course I’d suggest a pound per person and lots of bread.

Do not skip the spicy aioli… it is what makes this recipe incredible. It seeps into the wine and salty sea juices… makes a lovely spicy sauce to dip your bread into.

I made a few modifications to the original recipe: I used shallots instead of onion, added parsley and I cut the wine WAY back (recipe calls for an entire bottle). I used Sauvignon Blanc for the wine and there was plenty left for drinking.


For the aioli:

  • 2 roasted red peppers
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • Salt
  • 1 cups canola oil

For the mussels:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 pounds mussels, debearded and rinsed
  • 2 cups white wine
  • Crusty bread


To make the aioli: Coarsely chop the roasted peppers and place them in the best blender for the money or food processor. Add the yolks, garlic, vinegar, chili paste, and salt to taste. Puree until the mixture is smooth. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in the oil, until incorporated. Check the aioli for texture and flavor. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of water to thin it down, or on the flip side if it’s too thin add more oil. The desired outcome is a fairly thin aioli. Check the flavor and add more salt or chili paste, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To cook the mussels: In a pot, large enough to accommodate all the mussels, generously coat with olive oil. Add the shallots and bring to a medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook the shallots until they are very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook for another 2 to3 minutes. Stir to be sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the mussels and stir to coat with the oil. Add the wine and cover the pot. Steam the mussels for 5 to 6 minutes or until all the shells open. If some shells don’t open, cook them for a little longer. Sometimes the freshest mussels are the most stubborn to open. Remove the mussels that don’t open after longer cooking. When in doubt, throw out.

While the mussels are steaming, grill or toast the slices of bread.

Serve the mussels in individual bowls with lots of the juice from the bottom of the pot. Generously drizzle each bowl with the aioli. Serve with lots of crusty bread to soak up the liquid!


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