Mussels with Sweet Peppers

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Click To Enlarge Photo: Boyd Hagen

2 lbs. scrubbed, debearded mussels
2 Tbs. fruity olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 chopped flat-leaf parsley
1-1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 appetizer servings or 2 main course servings

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook 1 to 2 min. Stir in the diced peppers and cook 5 min. or until softened. Add the red pepper flakes, vinegar, and wine. Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until reduced by half. Add the stock, bring to a boil, lower heat, and again simmer until reduced by half. Add the cream, bring to a boil, and remove from heat.

In a large, lidded saucepan, combine the mussels and the sauce. (Check mussels for freshness. They should be closed or close quickly when tapped.) Bring to a boil over high heat and steam just until mussels pop open. Do not overcook. Discard any mussels that don’t open, and divide the rest among warm bowls. Return the sauce to a boil, stir in the parsley and tarragon, and cook briefly. Add salt and pepper to taste and spoon sauce over mussels. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the broth.

Recipe by Ben Barker
June 1997
from issue #9

posted in: peppers, main dish