Thrilled with the results of my previous experiment with the frozen shelled mussels, the next day I decided to cook the remaining 600 grams of frozen mussels in a spicy tomato sauce. This was a nice tapas or appetizer — and so easy to eat.
I sauteed some shallots and garlic in olive oil and butter.
Added some white wine (could have been red wine, but we didn’t have an open bottle) and let that simmer a while, seasoned generously with salt and pepper, added two finely minced siling labuyo or bird’s eye chilies, and some chopped parsley. Then I added about 2 cups of canned tomatoes and let this boil down until thickened a bit.
Add the mussels and let them cook for a few minutes, until done. Remove the mussels and plate them up (we used little cermaic tapas plates) while you return sauce to flames to thicken it up a bit. Spoon the sauce over the mussels and sprinkle with chopped parsley and basil. Serve with toasted slices of baguette.
This was pretty good, but flavors a bit muddled. It needed to be sharper, less ambiguous. The mussels remained very tender, despite their trip from Chile… and if I didn’t tell you I’m sure few would guess they had been in deep freeze for several weeks or months. I am quite partial to tomato based sauces, but I have to say, this was one of the few times that I felt the first version of mussels, without tomatoes, was a better tasting dish overall. This was good, just not slam dunk good… But it was certainly rather photogenic. :)
P.S. I think this would be delicious with some spaghetti noodles instead of bread…