Saffron and Tomato Steamed Mussels Recipe
On a recent trip to Sanibel Island (just across from Ft. Meyers, Florida), Editor Anne Weaver and I enjoyed some of the most incredible mussels we’ve ever eaten at Sweet Melissa’s Cafe. Owner and Executive Chef Melissa Donahue trained at Manhattan’s French Culinary Institute and earned her stripes at some of the most respected restaurants in the United States including Union Cafe in New York City, and, in New Orleans, both Commander’s Palace and John Besh’s Augus. And her impressive resume dn experience manifest in fresh, deeply flavored dishes like these Saffron and Tomato Steamed Mussels. She serves them with a spicy Cucumber Relish that will make heat-lovers swoon.
Recipe courtesy Sweet Melissa’s Café, Sanibel, Florida www.sweetmelissascafe.com
½ lb Prince Edward Island Mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 T Shallots, diced
1t Garlic, chopped
1 T Tomato, chopped
2 T Chorizo, diced
1 T Fennel, Diced
¼ cup Tomato Water
2 T Saffron Wine
1t lemon Juice
1 T Blended Oil
1 T Unsalted Butter
Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a large sauté pan over high heat the butter and oil, add the shallots, garlic, fennel and chorizo and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomato, saffron wine, tomato water and lemon juice. Add the mussels and cover the sauté pan with another sauté pan to steam the mussels. Once they are all open add salt and pepper.
House made Cucumber Relish
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
1 Cup White Balsamic vinegar
½ Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
2 English Cucumbers, sliced thinly on a mandolin
4 Whole Shallots, sliced thinly on a mandolin
Place the shallots and cucumbers in a large bowl. In a sauce pan, heat the remaining ingredients; once it has come to a boil pour it over the shallots and cucumber. Let them sit out at room temperature until they have cooled completely.