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Gourmet, Unbound: May

We just returned from Barcelona on Sunday, so I decided seafood would again be in store for my May tribute to Gourmet magazine. Unfortunately, this month’s recipe sounded better than it tasted. There was not enough sauce to coat the mussels, and what sauce there was didn’t have as much flavor as I would have expected after all the spices I put in. The problem may have also been with the mussels I picked up from Whole Foods later in the day. They tasted mealy and a few tasted a little off. Needless to say, not a good sign.

Either way, this could probably be a better recipe with better salt and more liquid. In the meantime, here is the framework of the dish as it stands.

Moroccan-Style Mussels
May 2006
Yield: Makes 4 main-course servings
Active time: 30 min
Total time: 40 min

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika (preferably hot)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 (15- to 19-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons sugar
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice, juice reserved and tomatoes coarsely chopped
3 lb cultivated mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook onion, garlic, and spices in oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in vinegar and simmer 1 minute. Add chickpeas, sugar, and tomatoes with their juice, then increase heat to moderate and gently simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Add mussels and return to a simmer. Cover tightly with lid and cook until mussels just open wide, 3 to 6 minutes. (Discard any mussels that remain unopened after 6 minutes.) Stir in parsley and serve in shallow bowls.

See my other Gourmet, Unbound posts:
April 2010, Shrimp Scampi Pasta
March 2010, Chicken with Black Pepper Maple Sauce
February 2010, Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream
January 2010, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta
December 2009, Walnut Spice Cake with Lemon Glaze

3 thoughts on “Gourmet, Unbound: May

  1. Empanada Boy says:

    I certainly prefer mussel recipes than include white wine over recipes that use spices like cinnamon, paprika & cumin. You just can’t beat the belgium-style way they prepare them at the Hopleaf in Chicago (reviewed by The Mango Lassie). But I appreciate every meal ML ever makes!

  2. Maggie says:

    Sorry this recipe didn’t work out–it sounds tasty–maybe I’ll try it and double the sauce. I’ve gotten some so-so mussels from Whole Foods, too.

  3. Mango Lassie says:

    I definitely think it could be better with more sauce and better mussels. The idea is good, but the recipe as is didn’t quite get me there.

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